By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to conduct a preliminary investigation over the criminal complaints filed against suspected Chinese drug lord Jacky Co and his co-respondents concerning the smuggling of P1.8 billion worth of illegal drugs.
The DOJ panel of prosecutors chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Clarisa Kuong has scheduled the first hearings of the preliminary investigation this July 5 and 10.
The office of Kuong said the panel has already sent out subpoenas directing all of the respondents to appear on the two dates and submit counter-affidavits in response to the complaints against them.
The other members of the panel are Assistant State Prosecutors Rodan Parrocha and Noel Antay Jr.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed last May 31 the complaint against Xu Zhi Jian alias Jacky Co and 16 others for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs), in relation to Section 31 (Additional Penalty if Offender is an Alien) of Republic Act.A. No. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as amended by R.A. No. 10640.
The 16 co-respondents of Co are Dong An Dong, Julie Hao Gamboa, Fe Tamayosa, Alvin Bautista, Jane Abello Castillo, Carlo Dale T. Zueta, Abraham G. Torrecampo, Arwin P. Caparros, Leonardo S. Sucaldito, and Mark Leo D. Magpayo, Brian Pabilona, Meldy Sayson, Rhea Tolosa, Edgardo Dominado, Jerry Siguenza, and Debbie Joy Aceron.
The officers and directors of Wealth Lotus Empire Corporation and Fortuneyield Cargo Services are also accused of importation of in relation to Section 30 (Criminal Liability of Officers of Partnerships, Corporations, Associations or other Juridical Entities) of R.A. No. 9165 as amended by R.A. No. 10640.
On March 22, joint government operatives led by the PDEA acted on a tip from their counterparts from Vietnam and conducted an interdiction operation at Manila International Container Port – Container Freight Station 3 (MICP-CFS3).
The operation resulted in the confiscation of 276,344.82 grams of shabu concealed in sacks of plastic resin worth P1,876,800,000.