Customs broker Taguba to stay in NBI jail

Customs fixer Mark Taguba is facing drug imporation charge before a Manila trial court, and drug trading charges before a Valenzuela trial court over the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs in 2017.

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday said that the accused Customs fixer Mark Taguba will stay in their detention following his pending court trial.

NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin presented Taguba before the press on Thursday noon. He said that Taguba was transferred to NBI’s custody “after proper turnover of the Office of Sergeant at Arms where he was given protective custody” on Wednesday night.

Taguba is facing an arrest warrant issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 for drug importation charge filed by the Department of Justice.

Lavin cleared that Taguba is facing a non-bailable case.

NBI Deputy Director for Investigative Service Dante de Guzman said that Taguba is currently staying in a detention cell inside the NBI compound in Manila.

“Today, we will be filing a return [of warrant] before the Manila court,” De Guzman added.

Taguba is one of the key figures in the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs last year. He revealed before the Senate the supposed passing of grease money among Customs officials.

Taguba was given legislative protection by the Senate for testifying in its probe on the multi-billion shabu shipment case.

Tagged in the multi-billion controversy is former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon, who is currently detained in the Pasay City Jail. The Senate ordered his transfer after he failed the contrition test.

Also facing a warrant of arrest are Kenneth Dong, Manny Li, EMT Trading owner Eirene Mae Tatad, Teejay Marcellana, Chen I-Min, Jhu Ming Jyu and Chen Rong Juan.

The court did not order a warrant of arrest against businessman Richard Tan or Chen Ju Long due to his pending motion to dismiss before the court.

The NBI said that it is using its force to hunt down the others who are facing arrest warrants.

Taguba and the eight others are facing a separate charge of drug trading before Valenzuela regional trial court.