Customs intelligence chief Neil Estrella has defended his choice to not tip off the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) about the presence of cargo containing 604 kilograms of shabu after confirming it was an unlawful drug.
In a assertion, Estrella stated he would “rather rot in prison” based mostly on technicalities than sit on the tip that he acquired about the contraband cargo.
”I took the risk that if the crates of medicine turned out to be true, I might find yourself burned. I took the probability pondering solely of the lives I might save if I have been confirmed right,” he stated.
Estrella has drawn flak from lawmakers for raiding a warehouse in Valenzuela City with out informing PDEA, as mandated by regulation.
PDEA Director General Isidro Lapena informed the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on August 9 that Estrella’s choice rendered the seizure of the shabu cargo price P6.four billion inadmissible in courtroom.
In his protection, Estrella stated he was licensed to conduct search and seizure of the cargo beneath the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
“I do not need a warrant or any other authority to do this because the law itself grants me the power to do so. This means that I can exercise a search and seizure in these places even outside the BOC premises especially because these are undeclared and smuggled objects coming out of our port,” he stated.
Estrella stated he would’ve been remiss in his duties if he tipped off different entities about the supposed presence of shabu in the cargo that handed by means of the Customs’ inexperienced lane with out verifying it first.
He stated his workforce instantly coordinated with PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation after he confirmed the presence of medicine in the crates that have been declared as containing kitchenware. ”We made positive that the integrity of the prohibited supplies is secured, so we guarded these correctly. There was no contamination in anyway as no person has added to, withdrawn from, or modified something in it,” he stated.
At the time of the stock and turnover of the unlawful medication, Estrella famous that nobody from PDEA opposed the particulars of the operation and the preservation of the integrity of the unlawful medication.
“Although initially there was disagreement as to controlled delivery, the consensus was for the goods to be finally accepted by both agencies for their follow up investigation and action. No one complained,” he stated.
Estrella has submitted his courtesy resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte but Malacanang has but to announce if he has accepted it.