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Kailangan ng magandang depensa! Lapeña given more time to file counter-affidavit

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Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner and current Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Isidro Lapena has been allowed more time to respond to the criminal complaint against him over his liability in the smuggling billions of pesos worth of shabu which were shipped into the country in 2018 inside magnetic lifters.

Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane Sytat, who chairs the panel of prosecutors handling the case, gave Lapena and several others of his co-respondents until February 21 to file their respective counter-affidavits.

“We will allow you until the (February) 21st ,” Sytat told lawyers during a hearing held at the Department of Justice (DOJ) held on Monday (Feb.11).

“Non-extendible na yan,” she said.

Apart from Lapena, among those who were given until February 21 to file their counter-affidavits are former BOC deputy commissioner Ricardo Quinto, former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Director for Administration Ismael Fajardo, and dismissed Police Sr. Supt. Eduardo Acierto.

The panel is currently conducting a preliminary investigation of the complaints filed by the PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) concerning the shabu shipment using magnetic lifters.

The NBI complaint accused Lapena of dereliction of duty, graft, and grave misconduct.

The same complaint also named as respondents over 40 persons including former customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, Fajardo, Acierto, and Quinto for importation of illegal drugs, graft and grave misconduct.

Guban, Fajardo, Acierto and dozens of others are also named in the PDEA complaints which accused the respondents of importation of dangerous drugs, attempt of conspiracy, and for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

Guban and a number of respondents submitted their respective counter-affidavits before the panel already.

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