HE may have been ordered arrested by President Duterte on Wednesday but former Customs intelligence officer Jaime Guban will stay under Senate custody unless a warrant for his arrest is issued.
This was the stand of Senate President Vicente’Tito’ Sotto III as the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group coordinated with the office of Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday moments after President Duterte ordered Guban’s arrest.
The President said there is a “secret special report” which said Guban facilitated the entry into Customs area of prohibited drugs and other smuggled commodities.
“We still need to keep him unless a warrant is issued,” Sotto said however.
Shortly after the President issued his directive to arrest Guban, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno B. Durana Jr. said that in compliance with the presidential instruction PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde Jr. immediately coordinated with Sen. Gordon to seek custody of Guban.
“Accordingly, Sen. Gordon said he will take Gen. Albayalde’s request under consideration pending submission of the Blue Ribbon Committee’s report,” the PNP spokesperson said.
Durana said that Gen. Albayalde has directed Obusan to personally coordinate with Sen. Gordon re-Guban’s case.
However, Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had said Guban will stay in Senate custody until the inquiry into the multibillion-peso drug slip is done.
According to Sen. Sotto, Sen. Gordon, the one who ordered Guban’s detention, had made it clear he will object if the latter is taken by the police without a warrant.
“It is up to the Chairman if he wants to turn over the witness,” he said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday disclosed that the government was seriously considering making former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban a state witness to shed light on the controversial P6.8-billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Also, Guevarra bared that he discussed with Sen. Richard Gordon the transfer of Guban’s custody to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) but only after the completion of the Senate’s investigation into the controversial shabu shipment
“Senator Gordon and I have agreed to transfer custody of a vital witness, Jimmy Guban, to the NBI upon termination of the Senate inquiry. Mr. Guban shall also be considered for coverage under the witness protection program (WPP), upon full compliance with all the requirements under the WPP law.”
“The NBI, on the other hand, will conduct further investigation on the basis of the Senate committee report, and file the appropriate complaints as the evidence will warrant,” Guevarra said.
With Hector Lawas