by Benjamin Pulta | National News
MANILA — Prosecutors on Tuesday completed the preliminary investigation into the criminal complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the case involving illegal drugs that were smuggled into the country inside magnetic lifters.
Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane W. Sytat, who heads the prosecution panel, received the position papers from the parties, including PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino.
The case is now considered submitted for resolution by the prosecution panel to determine whether it will be sufficient to be filed before the courts.
Aside from Sytat, other members of the panel are prosecutors Giono Paolo S. Santiago and Jervis A. Gaspar, and prosecution lawyers Jayvee Laurence B. Bandong and Mary Grace S. Arboladura.
In its 49-page letter requesting for preliminary investigation, NBI Director Dante Gierran named more than three dozen individuals allegedly involved in the smuggling of a shipment of drugs through magnetic lifters.
The NBI identified former PDEA Deputy Director for Administration Ismael Fajardo, Customs intelligence officer Jimmy S. Guban, and dismissed Senior Supt. Eduardo P. Acierto as most liable for the shipment.
The NBI also recommended charges against Customs officials led by former Bureau of Customs chief Isidro Lapeña and others linked to the transaction.
Investigators said District Collector Vener Baquiran was also remiss in his duty to prevent smuggling when he did not declare the two magnetic lifters abandoned within the period prescribed by law.
The NBI recommended dereliction of duty, violation of graft laws, and grave misconduct charges against Lapeña among others. (PNA)