Guilty Chinese trio pinned down by housemaid at Parañaque ‘shabu’ lab
MANILA, Philippines–Three Chinese nationals were each sentenced to two life terms in prison and ordered to pay P10 million each in fines for turning a Parañaque City home into a “shabu” laboratory, where they tried to mask the smell of chemicals using a disinfectant spray and burning incense.
Judge Danilo Suarez of Parañaque Regional Trial Court–Branch 259 found Chu Kin Tung, Wong Meng Pin and Li A Ging guilty of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, citing their possession and manufacture of illegal drugs at a house on Concha Cruz Drive, BF Homes subdivision.
The three Chinese were arrested by members of the Philippine National Police–Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force, who raided the house on Jan. 29, 2010, on a search warrant after a nine-day surveillance operation. Found in the rooms were containers of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and chemical ingredients for making the drug, flasks, pitchers, beakers, heaters and stoves, the police said.
The judge noted the “detailed testimony” given by the housemaid employed by the Chinese, especially “on the restrictions to her movements inside the house as well as the acts of the accused in trying to cover up the foul smell of the chemicals inside by spraying Lysol and lighting red (incense) sticks.”
Suarez dismissed the convicts’ defense that they were framed by the arresting policemen and that they were not the real occupants of the raided house.
The defense also presented security guard Rinso Magalasin Jr. and tricycle driver Eduardo Edoloverio as witnesses who claimed to have seen how Chu and Wong were “abducted” by the police on Concha Cruz Drive a few minutes before the raid.
But the judge said he found it “uncanny” that the security guard failed to take note of the plate number of the vehicle used in the alleged abduction despite being merely 30 meters away. He also noted that the tricycle driver came out to testify “only recently” considering the gravity of the incident he supposedly witnessed four years ago.
“He (Edoloverio) never made prior statements regarding the incident or had it reported to the authorities immediately thereafter,” the judge said.
Chu and Wong’s claim that they were not occupants of the house was “belied by the photographs (taken) during the surveillance operation prior to the application for a search warrant,” while Li was positively identified by the housemaid as her recruiter, Suazes added.
Suarez maintained that it was a “settled rule” in cases involving violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act that “credence (is) given to witnesses who are police officers.”
The police officers “(are) presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary,” he added. “In this case, no convincing evidence was adduced showing any irregularity in the implementation of the search warrant made by elements of the (PNP task force). Neither was there any proof that the operatives were impelled by any ill-feeling or improper motive against the accused which would raise doubt about their credibility.”
According to the case records, two more suspects linked to the shabu lab operation—Robin Bayubay Co and Xiu Xiu—remain at large.
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