Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins Villanueva and Bureau of Customs (BOC) Rey Leonardo Guerrero are facing a graft complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the 2019 shipment of illegal drugs worth P1.8 billion that was hidden among tapioca starch.
In the complaint filed on Tuesday (Feb. 23) by the National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Anti-Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID), Villanueva and Guerrero are among 21 persons accused of having violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Their co-respondents include former PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino and BOC Deputy Commission Raniel Ramiro.
The NBI also recommended that all 21 be administratively charged with grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Aside from these, the NBI also accused Aquino, Guerrero and Ramiro of violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Government Officials and should also administratively charged with serious dishonesty.
The NBI also named nine persons whom it recommended to be indicted for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012 including two persons for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Anti-Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID).
The shipment arrived in Cambodia in January 2019 and was declared as tapioca starch. It was found containing 146 kilos of shabu.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson back in 2019 questioned the decision of the PDEA and BOC to auction the shipment despite getting information that it contained illegal drugs.
Lacson said does not believe the claims of the PDEA and the BOC that it was a controlled delivery and accused the agencies of allowing Chinese drug lord Jacky Co, who was behind the shipment, to leave the Philippines.