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The Office of the Ombudsman completed the fact-finding investigation on the complaint involving the smuggling of 602.2 kilograms of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) with an estimated street value of P6.4 billion.

The Special Panel of Fact-Finding Investigators recommended the filing of criminal charges for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) against former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, Import Assessment Service (IAS) Director Milo Maestrecampo, Risk Management Office (RMO) Chief Larribert Hilario and Accounts Management Office (AMO) Chief Mary Grace Tecson-Malabed.   The panel also recommended the filing of administrative charges of Grave Misconduct against Faeldon and BOC team leader Joel Pinawin and assistant team leader Oliver Valiente, as well as Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct against Tecson-Malabed and Maestrecampo. The panel also recommended the filing of additional charges of Usurpation of Official Functions (Article 177 of the Revisd Penal Code), violation of Section 32 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act No. 9165) against Faeldon, and violation of Section 3(a) of R.A No. 3019 against Faeldon and BOC Director Neil Anthony Estrella.

The criminal and administrative charges will undergo preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication, respectively.

The complaints against former Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manases Carpio were dismissed for lack of basis.

It will be recalled that on 26 May 2017, joint operatives from the BOC-Customs Intelligence and Investigative Services, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted a raid on a warehouse owned by the Philippine Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies, Inc. in Valenzuela City. The raid involved the controlled delivery of a shipment declared to contain printing cylinders.

According to the field investigators, “the BOC later discovered and seized the shabu but the manner through which the discovery and seizure were made leaves much to be desired. Evidence suggests that numerous laws and administrative issuances pertaining to the proper search, seizure, handling and controlled delivery of drugs were violated by the public officers.”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales took no part in the fact-finding investigation. ###