MANILA (PNA) – Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II lauded the efforts of prosecutors led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro “JP” Navera in securing the conviction of the members of the so-called Chin Drug Syndicate.
“I congratulate all our prosecutors who are involved in the successful prosecution of this case. Their valiant efforts validated the acts of our apprehending officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) who apprehended the accused. But beyond that, our prosecutors, together with the judge, are very instrumental in restoring the people’s trust and confidence in our judicial system,” Aguirre noted.
The case is one of the biggest drug busts in the history of the Philippines.
“This is a major victory in the President’s (Rodrigo Duterte) war on drugs. It sends a chilling effect to all involved in the drug trade in the country. We have sent a very strong warning and message to all who are involved. Deal with drugs and you will find neither refuge nor respite from the law. We will be relentless in pursuing you. We will be relentless in prosecuting you!,” the DOJ chief said.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Olongapo City meted life sentences against six members of a drug trafficking group who were caught in possession of more than 400 kilos of shabu worth Php2 billion in Subic three years ago.
All of the accused — Albert Chin, Romeo Manalo, Joselito Escueta, Coronel Disierto, Dennis Domingo, and Emmanuel Tobias were all orderd to pay a fine of Php1 million each.
Judge Raymond Viray of Olongapo RTC Branch 75 found Chin and Romeo Manalo guilty of selling dangerous drugs while the four others were found guilty of possessing dangerous drugs.
The shabu were seized during a raid conducted by the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force on a house in Suboc, Zambales on August 11, 2013.
The raid came after five months of joint surveillance, according to authorities
During the surveillance, the law enforcers managed to embed an undercover agent inside the group, that led to the operation.
The shabu was contained in 22 large gym bags and balikbayan boxes and took the police 18 hours to finish hauling the shabu from the house to the police station.