Gordon to summon judge for ‘delaying San Juan drug case’
Blue ribbon committee chair Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon is willing to challenge the law, even if it means having a constitutional crisis, by summoning the judge handling the case of the 890 kilos of shabu seized in San Juan City last year.
Gordon on Tuesday said he would subpoena San Juan City Judge Juvencio Gascon, whom he accused of delaying the case over his failure to order the ocular inspection of the 890-kilo methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) seized in San Juan in December 2016.
“I’m willing to challenge the law and subpoena this judge even though I should not, subpoena him so that I could create a constitutional crisis where the court will say you have no right to interfere in the judiciary and I will now say the judiciary is not doing their work,” Gordon said during the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the smuggling of the P6.5-billion illegal drugs from China.
The P6.5-billion shabu case, which slipped past through the Bureau of Customs (BOC), was the largest shipment ever nabbed by authorities.
“It says here, the law is very clear, 72 hours. And it is not a small matter, small quantities of drugs. The biggest, in fact. Therefore this judge should be brought to the Ombudsman right away,” Gordon siad.
Under the law, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) should conduct forensic examination of seized drugs within 24 hours, and the court should order the ocular inspection within 72 hours after the filing of the case, and the illegal drugs should be destroyed by PDEA within 24 hours.
But 10 months after the seizure of the shipment, the judge has yet to order the inspection, prompting Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to prod Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to look into the matter.
“Actually your honor I have been prodding and wondering why this almost 900 kilos of shabu has not been destroyed. We are very much aware and we have been guarding this seized seizure since the beginning because we are very much aware that this could be pilfered,” Aguirre said.
In an interview with reporters after the hearing, Aguirre said Sereno was considering to add provisions on the rules of court regarding the disposal of illegal drugs seized by authorities.
“Ang sabi niya (Sereno), ‘I propose that there will be an additional provisions in the rules of court, specifically the disposition of disposal of these illegal drugs,’” he said.
The hearing on the case was also put on hold because the judge was on sick leave, causing delay in the proceedings of the court, Aguirre explained.
“Ang sabi sa amin, talagang masama yung kalagayan ng judge (We were told that the judge’s situation was really bad),” he said. /jpv
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