Witness: Ex-NBI exec has ties to lessor of Virac shabu lab discovered in 2016
MANILA, Philippines — A former police officer in Region 5 said Wednesday that former acting regional director of NBI-Central Mindanao Regional Office (NBI-CEMRO) Eric Isidoro has ties to the person who subleased the 1,000 square meter lot in Virac, Catanduanes where a shabu laboratory was discovered in 2016.
Lieutenant Colonel Alex Pederio, who is now based in Camp Crame, previously headed the 504th Police Provincial Mobile Group in Region 5 when the laboratory was discovered. He is the prosecution’s first witness.
During direct examination, he positively identified Isidoro as well as caretaker Lorenzo Piñera II in open court.
Pederio said Angela Balmadrid, who subleased the property to accused Jayson Uy, is the wife of Isidoro.
Wednesday’s hearing was the first after the Supreme Court allowed the case’s transfer from Virac to Makati.
Aside from Isidoro, four other persons are facing charges for conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs — Xian Xian Wang, Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy, and Jayson Gonzales.
The other arrested accused, Piñera II, is standing trial for cases of possession and manufacture of illegal drugs along with five other accused who are also still at large — Uy, Gonzales, Paolo Palisoc, Phung Yuan Estorco, and Sheng Wang.
Of the accused, only Isidoro and Piñera are under detention at the city jail.
Authorities discovered the mega shabu laboratory in 2016; they seized over P100-million worth of shabu and ephedrine.
The property where the shabu laboratory was located in Virac, Catanduanes was allegedly owned by a certain Sarah Sarmiento. It was leased by Balmadrid, the common-law wife of Isidoro.
Cross-examination will continue on Friday.
Prosecutors will be presenting a separate witness to strengthen the case against Isidoro./ee
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