DOJ wraps up preliminary probe on drug case vs Faeldon, et al | Inquirer News

DOJ wraps up preliminary probe on drug case vs Faeldon, et al

By: - Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
/ 04:22 PM November 08, 2017

Former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended its preliminary investigation into the criminal complaints lodged against former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon and 37 others in connection with the P6.4-billion illegal drug smuggling shipment at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The DOJ investigating panel, led by Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes, terminated the proceedings and submitted for resolution the string of illegal drug complaints filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

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Faeldon and his fiancée, lawyer Jelina Maree Magsuci, filed a joint memorandum urging the panel anew to dismiss the complaints filed against them for lack of probable cause.

READ: Ex-BOC chief Faeldon asks DOJ to dismiss drug raps

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended its preliminary investigation into the criminal complaints lodged against former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon and 37 others in connection with the P6.4-billion illegal drug smuggling shipment at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The couple has warned the investigating panel to be “extremely cautious” of PDEA Seaport Interdiction Unit chief Norman Balquiedra’s statement, whom Faeldon earlier accused of being a “hit-and-run complainant.”

“Complainant Balquiedra’s admission in his reply-affidavit, that all of the allegations in his complaint-affidavit are hearsay, is the final nail in the coffin of the above-captioned complaint,” the two said.

Former Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services director Neil Anthony Estrella, in a chance interview, said he was confident that he and the other Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials would be vindicated by the panel.

“Wala kaming kasalanan. Mismo complaint nila di nila masabi ng maaayos kung ano sabi nila sa kanilang complaint. We feel at this point pa lang, we feel vindicated,” Estrella said.

(We did nothing wrong. They themselves can’t even articulate their points in their complaint. We feel vindicated at this point.)

Faeldon, Magsuci, and Estrella—along with former Customs officials Milo Maestrecampo, Joel Pinawin, Oliver Valiente, Vincent Philip Maronilla, Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansang, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo, and John Edillor—are facing charges of conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protect drug traffickers.

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Customs importers, brokers, and warehouse owners—including Mark Ruben Taguba, Chen, Dong, Chen Rong Huan, Genelita Arayan, Dennis Nocom, Zhang Hong, Rene Palle, Richard Rebistual, Mary Rose dela Cruz, Li Guang Feng (alias Manny Li), Teejay Apostol Marcellana, Eirene Mae Tatad, Emily Anoche Dee, Chen I-Min, Jhu Ming Jyun, John Doe, Jane Doe, and Richard Doe—are facing charges of importing and selling illegal drugs.

The controversy has prompted simultaneous congressional inquiries and pushed Faeldon as well as other Customs officials to resign. /jpv

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TAGS: DoJ, drug smuggling, Faeldon, PDEA, preliminary probe
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