Senate cites Chinese warehouse owner, middleman in contempt
Posted: 2017-Aug-10 16.00.02 UTC+0800
MANILA — A Senate panel on Wednesday cited Richard Chen, whose Filipino name is Richard Tan, the owner of the warehouse where the PHP 6.4-billion worth of shabu shipment was delivered, in contempt for his "conflicting" statements during a Senate probe into the issue.
Chen is general manager of Hong Fei Logistics located in Valenzuela City where the illegal drug shipment was seized in May. Also cited in contempt was the alleged middleman, Manny Li.
Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee, moved to cite Chen in contempt after the latter said that he thought the shipment contained printing materials and only found out that they were drugs after the Xiamen Customs told him.
However, in Chen's affidavit, he said he was informed of the illegal shipment by Xiamen Customs Police Officer Wang Xi Dong between 5 to 6 p.m. on May 25.
Gordon warned Chen several times that he could be cited in contempt for being "evasive from the beginning" in answering senators' questions.
Meanwhile, Li was found to have allegedly tampered with the packing list (a document that lists all items in the shipment) to hide five cylinders where the drugs were kept.
In an interview with reporters, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-National Capital Region (PDEA-NCR) Director Wilkins Villanueva said that the most "rational" move was to file cases against Chen for tampering with the evidence.
To date, Villanueva said that operations of Hong Fei have already been suspended by the Valenzuela City government.
Senators, meanwhile, expressed frustration that no charges have been filed against the people involved in the illegal drug shipment including the Chen, the consignee of the subject cargo carrying the shabu, EMT Trading.
Senator Francis Escudero slammed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for being "too careful" and "too kind" in dealing with those linked to the shipment while the Philippine National Police (PNP) was aggressive in dealing with small-time drug pushers. (PNA)