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SC grants transfer of ex-NBI exec drug trial to Makati court

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PHILSTAR

THE SUPREME Court (SC) has granted the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) request to transfer to a Makati City court the drug trial venue of former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Illegal Drugs Unit head Augusto Eric Isidoro and several others. The case involves a shabu laboratory discovered in Virac, Catanduanes. Former Justice secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre sought for the transfer in March as Judge Lelu P. Contreras is the only one in Virac. He was the same judge asked to inhibit from the drug cases for delaying the release of a warrant to search the laboratory where authorities seized 22.5 kilos worth of shabu (methamphetamine), and for illegally ordering authorities to destroy evidence in the scene. Mr. Isidoro allegedly owns the lot of the shabu laboratory, which authorities claimed was the biggest to be discovered in the Philippines so far. The SC, in a notice dated June 19 and released to media on Monday, directed Branch 43 of the Virac Regional Trial Court (RTC) to forward the records of the cases to the Makati RTC, which was directed to raffle the cases among its branches within three days of receipt. Mr. Isidoro surrendered to the NBI on March 28 over the pending cases. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio

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