MANILA- Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 74, has meted out life imprisonment to four Chinese nationals from the Hong Kong special administrative region for drug charges.
The four, Win Fai Lo,Shu Fook Leung,Kam Wah Kwok, and Kwok Tung Chan, were arrested on July 11, 2016 while engaged in the manufacture of methampetamine hydrochloride aboard a boat anchored off Barangay Calapandayan, Subic,Zambales and yielded 467.8 grams of the prohibited substance.
Ginez-Jabalde , in a joint decision dated December 7, also slapped a fine of PHP 5 million each for possession of the drug.
“Although the 467.8 grams of shabu was found inside the blue backpack of accused Leung Shu Fook, it does not mean that the illegal drugs belongs to him alone. There is a strong evidence that the four accused conspired and confederated together to commit the crime of illegal possession of shabu,” the court said.
The court underscored that 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 which, according to intelligence reports, was used in the distribution of illegal drugs in the Philippines.
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 called a hydrogenator would not operate because it still needed a hydrogen tank to work. “The equipment at the barge is sufficient to hydrogenate or form meth oil to liquid meth but not enough to manufacture shabu,” the court said quoting forensics experts’ testimony.
The court likewise ordered that the confiscated contraband be turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for disposal.
Justice department spokesman undersecretary Mark Perete hailed the decision of the court . “This is not the first conviction in a case involving possession of illegal drugs in high volume. Be that as it may, the Department (of Justice is satisfied that the four accused have been handed the sentence of life imprisonment. Such a sentence would keep them off the trade. This conviction brings the government a step closer to curbing and hopefully eradicating the supply of illegal drugs,” he said. Benjamin Pulta/PNA-northboundasia.com