MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has filed charges against officers of a firm managing a property in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City where a shabu laboratory was discovered last month, an official said yesterday.
PDEA director general Jose Gutierrez Jr. said the agency’s legal and prosecution service was convinced that the officers of the company and the estate administrators of the properties of the late Consuelo Madrigal may be held liable for violation of provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9165).
The PDEA filed on Feb. 14 a supplemental affidavit before the city prosecutor’s office against five officers of Fuerte Holdings and two estate administrators for alleged manufacture of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs, and possession of equipment for dangerous drugs, in relation to Section 30 (criminal liability of officers of partnerships, corporations, associations or other juridical entities), Article 2 of RA 9165.
In its supplemental affidavit, the PDEA maintained that the estate administrators and the officers of the company “did not even bother to check or cause the checking of the identity of the lessee’s and the source or sources of income considering that the said lessee is a foreign national” and the full payment for the one-year lease was paid in cash.
The same violations were earlier filed in court against the five Chinese nationals who were arrested during the raid on 505 Acacia Drive on Jan. 6. The property, which the Chinese nationals had turned into a clandestine shabu laboratory capable of manufacturing 10 kilos of shabu every two to three days, is managed by Fuerte Holdings.
“As officers of Fuerte (Holdings, Inc) and estate administrators, they are primarily responsible for ensuring that the property under their administration or management is not being utilized for illegal purposes,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “The negligence on their part to inspect the said property tolerated the commission of the crime, in this case the manufacture of shabu.”
The PDEA chief said the officers of the company and the administrators of the estate should be held liable as co-principals.
According to the agency, they checked with the city government’s business permit and licensing office and the Bureau of Internal Revenue and found that lessees Lam Tsz Kin, alias Ken Ming Chau, and others do not have an existing business.
Gutierrez said this should serve as an eye opener to property owners and administrators, who should be vigilant and wary of people who plan to lease or rent their property. - By Reinir Padua