House to detain ex-BOC officer ‘for not telling truth’ on P6.8-B ‘smuggled’ shabu
A former Bureau of Customs (BOC) intelligence officer has been cited in contempt for the second time “for not telling the truth.”
Jimmy Guban, who worked at the BOC’s Intelligence and Investigation Service, has been cited in contempt this time by the House committees on dangerous drugs and government and public accountability, which was jointly conducting inquiry on the alleged smuggling of 1-ton shabu into the country as discovered by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Guban earned the ire of lawmakers after failing to clearly answer questions related to the entry of the P6.8 billion-worth of shabu concealed in magnetic lifter in Cavite.
“Mr. Chair, may I move that Mr. Guban be cited in contempt in so far as these two committees are concerned for not telling the truth,” said Antipolo City 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop.
Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chair of the dangerous drugs panel, approved the motion after it was duly-seconded with no objections.
Camiguin Rep. Xavier Romualdo, chair of the second panel, concurred.
Last September 11, the Senate blue ribbon committee cited Guban in contempt. The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms consequently arrested and detained him.
“If the Senate blue ribbon releases Mr. Guban, he will have an extended stay in the House of Representatives,” Barbers said, citing the ex-intelligence officer’s “non-cooperation in giving right statements” before the joint investigation.
Prior to this, lawmakers have grilled Guban for giving inconsistent statements and for refusing to answer some questions.
Guban also admitted that on top of his regular work as an intelligence officer in the BOC, he was tapped by a certain “Colonel Acierto”— a dismissed police — to find a consignee for a certain shipment.
At first, he said it was part of his “intelligence work” but later on he admitted this was a “personal business,” adding that he received “P10,000-P15,000 commission” for the job.
Guban was one of those accused to have facilitated the entry of the four magnetic lifters which, according to PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino, contained P6.8 billion worth of shabu.
Guban was also the one who contacted Marina dela Cruz Signapan of SMYD Trading, the consignee of the shipment found in Cavite.
Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña said this practice is prohibited in the BOC.
“It is not allowed, it is in the Customs regulations… and they can be criminally liable,” he said. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.