Senate won’t ‘turn over’ yet drug witness Guban
The Senate has decided to keep custody of resigned Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, citing its ongoing investigation into the reported smuggling of 1-ton “shabu” concealed in four magnetic lifters found in Cavite.
The illegal drug was initially said to be worth P6.8 billion, but the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has revised their estimates and now valued the drug shipment to be worth P11 billion.
Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, announced this decision at a press conference in the Senate on Thursday.
“With all due respect to the President, if I’ve ever heard him correctly, we can’t turn over Mr. Guban right away because we are still continuing the hearings…” Gordon said.
Gordon was responding to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest Guban over his alleged involvement in drug shipment.
“I reiterate, I respect the President, but we do follow certain rules… and a part of that would be to make sure that the status of the Congress as co-equal branch of government is respected,” the senator said.
“The status quo, I reiterate, must be respected at the moment. Hindi pa kami tapos (We are not yet done) adequately…,” he stressed.
Guban has been placed under the “protective custody” of the Senate after Gordon cited him for contempt over his alleged refusal to tell the truth during the hearings on the 1-ton shabu that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
But the senator said Guban is now considered a witness, and that his confinement in the chamber was no longer “due to contempt.”
And as a witness, Gordon said, Guban would stay in the Senate until he is placed under the government’s witness protection program. /kga
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