DOJ asks Olongapo court to convict 4 Chinese for making drugs

MANILA -- State lawyers have asked the Olongapo City court to partially reconsider its ruling against four Chinese nationals convicted of drug possession charges but cleared in the charges of making shabu on a fishing boat converted into a drug lab off Subic.

In an 11 page partial motion for reconsideration dated December 27, Department of Justice prosecutors urged Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 74, to convict the four -- Win Fai Lo, Shu Fook Leung, Kam Wah Kwok, and Kwok Tung Chan � on the drug manufacturing charges aside from the earlier sentence of life imprisonment, handed down by the court last December 7, for drug possession.

The four Chinese nationals from Hong Kong were arrested on July 11, 2016 while aboard a boat anchored off Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales and yielded 467.8 grams of the prohibited substance.

Aside from the life sentence, each of the four Chinese nationals were also slapped a fine of PHP5 million for possession of the drug.

The Olongapo court, however, ruled that there is insufficient proof to convict the group on the charge of manufacturing methampetamine, citing that the equipment found on the vessel, which is called a hydrogenator, would not operate because it still needed a hydrogen tank to work.

In their motion, prosecutors said the judge's ruling was erroneous on that point.

"(T)here is no other logical conclusion other than that the Chinese fishing vessel from where the hydrogenator machine was found is a clandestine laboratory where a manufacture of dangerous drug particularly shabu was undertaken by the four accused," the DOJ panel motion said.

"(T)he law does not require that the laboratory equipment found in the clandestine laboratory must be operational. The four accused who were arrested on board and made it appear that the boat was a fishing vessel with legitimate business operations and concealed its actual purpose as a clandestine laboratory, should be held liable for conspiring and confederating with one another to manufacture dangerous drugs," they added.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro C. Navera, Region 8 Regional Prosecutor Irwin A. Maraya and Assistant State Prosecutors Jose Christina T. Dugay and Ethel Rea G. Suril signed the motion.

About 467.8 grams of shabu were found inside the blue backpack of accused Leung Shu Fook, and the court noted there is strong evidence that the four accused conspired in the offense.

The four were together since July 4, 2016 when they attended a briefing in a Kowloon restaurant in Hong Kong, conducted by a certain Snake Kan. They then travelled to the Philippines together on board a Chinese fishing boat, which fits the description of the vessel that, according to intelligence reports, was used in the distribution of illegal drugs in the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency