The Department of Justice on Monday gave former Bureau of Customs Commissioner, now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General, Isidro Lapeña up to Feb. 21 to answer the complaint filed against him, in connection with the multiple-billion peso worth of shabu smuggled into the country through magnetic lifters.
During the second preliminary investigation hearing of the complaints filed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation, DOJ’s panel of investigating prosecutors led by Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane Sytat granted the plea of Lapeña’s lawyer John Telan who received a copy of the complaint for extension of time within which to answer the allegations against him.
Lapeña has been accused of violating the Revised Penal Code; violation of Section 3(e) of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and grave misconduct in violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees.
On the other hand, former PDEA Deputy Director Ismael Fajardo, Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto and former Customs Deputy Commissioner Ricardo Quinto did not appear and were unable to send their representatives.
Next preliminary investigation is set on Feb. 21 and another on March 4.
PDEA filed the complaint last Aug. 29, 2018 and Dec. 13, 2018 while the NBI who conducted a separate investigation filed the complaint last January.
In the NBI complaint, Lapena, Vener Baquiran, Zsae Carrie de Guzman, John Mar Morales, and Benjamin Cajucom are accused of having committed dereliction of duty in violation of the Revised Penal Code; violation of Section 3(e) of the Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act); and grave misconduct in violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees.
The complainant also sought the prosecution of over 40 persons including former Intelligence Officer Jimmy Guban, Fajardo, Acierto and Quinto for RA 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002); violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019; and for grave misconduct.
While, the PDEA’s Dec. 13, 2018 complaint accused 44 respondents including Guban, Fajardo and Acierto also of importation of dangerous drugs, attempt of conspiracy, and liability of a person violating any regulation issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
They are also accused of violating Section 3(e) of RA 3019, and for obstruction of justice in violation Presidential Decree No. 1829, Section 1(c) and the Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code.
While, the PDEA’s August 29, 2018 complaint accused Chan Yee Wah Albert, Zhang Quan, Vedasto Baraquel Jr., and Maria Lagrimas Catipan of possession of illegal drugs in violation of RA 9165.