THE Department of Justice has appealed to the Valenzuela Regional Trial Court to reverse its ruling dismissing drug importation charges against trader Richard Tan and several others involved in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment case.
Sources at the Department of Justice said Saturday the appeal was made after Judge Maria Nena Santos of the Valenzuela RTC Branch 171 dismissed the cases for importation of dangerous drugs against Tan, also known as Chen Ju Long, who owns the warehouse in Valenzuela where the shabu was discovered, Manny Li, Kenneth Dong Yi, Customs fixer Mark Ruben Taguba II, Eirene Mae Tatad, Teejay Marcellana, Chen I-Min, Jhu Ming Jyun, Chen Rong Huan, and three other unidentified respondents.
Santos issued the order on Dec. 12 deciding the dismissal of the cases for lack of jurisdiction after the respondents filed their respective motions to quash the charges.
The Judge explained the crime of importation of illegal dangerous drugs was already consummated when the drug shipment arrived at the Manila International Container Port on May 15.
On Dec. 17, the Justice department issued a 17-page motion for reconsideration appealing the court to reverse its dismissal and deny the motions filed by the respondents “being without basis and by reason of the afore-stated grounds and arguments.”
The DoJ panel of prosecutors, led by Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes, argued in their appeal that the regional court of Valenzuela had clear jurisdiction to hear the cases even if the drug shipment entered Manila first.
It further argued that the crime of dangerous drug importation “was not yet fully consummated” as it was unknown that time that the contents of the container van were illegal drugs.
Authorities found illegal drugs packed inside the metal cylinders at the Hongfei Warehouse in Valenzuela City last May 26.
The DoJ also pointed out that Valenzuela had acquired jurisdiction over the case when it issued an order on Nov. 24 for an ocular inspection of the drug shipment
“While it may be true that the act of entry or the act of bringing into the country the dangerous drugs initially occurred at the MICP on 15 May 2017 yet the place where the contents of which was discovered, learned and confirmed to be dangerous drugs occurred in Valenzuela City,” the motion read.
“The court wherein any of the crime’s essential and material acts have been committed maintains jurisdiction to try the case; it being understood that the first court taking cognizance of the same excludes the other,” the prosecutors said, citing a ruling by the Supreme Court.
“The ingredient of discovery, which is clearly material, relevant and which consummated or accomplished the crime of illegal importation of dangerous drugs in this case occurred in Valenzuela City,” the prosecutors added.
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