The Department of Justice (DoJ) has appealed to Presiding Judge Arthur B. Melicor of the Velenzuela City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 284 to reinstate the drug charges against Bureau of Customs (BoC) fixer Mark G. Taguba II and eight others allegedly involved in the shipment of P6.4-billion worth of shabu (methampethamine), which were dismissed over claims of forum shopping committed by prosecutors.
Mr. Taguba, along with his co-accused Teejay A. Marcellana, Chen Julong, Li Guang Feng, Manny Li, Kenneth Dong, Eirene Mae A. Tatad, Chen I-Min, Jhu Ming Jyun, and Chen Rong Huan were charged with violation of Section 5, in relation to Section 2(a) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for transportation and delivery of illegal drugs in connection to 600 kilograms of shabu seized by the BoC and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in May last year from a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
A group of state prosecutors spearheaded by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rassendell F. Gingoyon in a 19-page motion for reconsideration dated May 8 argued, “the crime of transportation of dangerous drugs is a separate and distinct crime and under the circumstances at hand cannot be said to be a part of the crime of importation of drugs.”
“Since RA No. 9165, as amended, specifically and distinctly punishes the crime of importation and transportation under two separate sections thereof, the prosecution was justified in filing two separate informations for the separate violations of RA No. 9165 committed by the above-named accused as far as the subject dangerous drugs is concerned. In doing so, no forum shopping has been committed and the prosecution did not violated the rule on municipality of suits,” the motion read. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio