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Alias ‘Small’ of Davao appears at Senate hearing

/ 11:04 AM August 31, 2017

Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. (sitting second from left) attends the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China. PHOTO BY CHRISTIA MARIE RAMOS / INQUIRER VOLUNTEER CORPS

The Davao City councilor tagged of having links with the powerful “Davao Group” operating within the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has attended for the first time the Senate inquiry into the P6.4 billion shabu shipment into the country.

According to Broker Mark Taguba II, Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. was the one he met in Davao where the latter asked him to pay P5 million so he could seek protection from Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the son of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Abellera surfaced at the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on Thursday after skipping the inquiry last Tuesday. He had filed an affidavit stating his denial in the shipment of drugs that went past the security of BOC.

READ: Davao councilor Abellera denies hand in P6.4-B shabu shipment

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In earlier hearings, Taguba said he first met with a certain “Tita Nani” from the BOC in a mall in Quezon City. He said Tita Nani instructed her to give an “enrollment fee” worth P5 million to the Davao Group.

In January, Taguba said Tita Nani sent her a text message saying: “Good am, Mark. We’ll make final arrangement with Jack, he’s the handler of Paolo, now we have to advance the enroll. He can fly down to Davao to arrange your meeting with Pulong ASAP. During the meeting, you personally turn over the P5M, in the same manner you likewise turned over the LMLN to Jack when we met.”

Taguba clarified that he did not personally meet Paolo “Pulong” Duterte but he said Abellera and Jack claimed that they are collecting money for Duterte.

Upon the instructions of Tita Nani, Taguba flew to Davao City. A certain “Jack” brought him to a restaurant to meet Abellera.

“Sinundo ako ni Jack at dinala ako sa restaurant at nandoon si Small at nagusap kami ‘yung sa P5 million. Sabi niya (Small) sa akin bago nya tanggapin ‘yon, kailang maging maayos ang remittance mo weekly,” Taguba said.

(Jack brought me to a restaurant where we met Small and then we talked about the P5 million. Small told me that before he accepts the payment, I need to streamline the weekly remittance.)

Every Friday, Taguba said Jack would fly back to Manila from Davao to collect money from him.

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Asked by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV how much he paid every week, Taguba said he pays P10,000 per container. In a week, Taguba said he delivers “an average of 100 containers,” making it a total of P1 million in a week.

Trillanes then asked Taguba: “As far as you’re concerned, itong Davao Group make things happen? Kumbaga napapadali pagpasok mo ng container van? (Like it makes the entry of container van very easy?)” Taguba answered, “Yes, your honor.”

Taguba said since he started paying the enrollment fee and the weekly remittance, his container vans were never “alerted” by the Customs. JPV

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TAGS: Alias Small, Bureau of Customs, Davao group, Mark Taguba, Nilo Abellera Jr., Paolo Duterte
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