MANILA - Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban will stay at the Senate until the end of its inquiry into the alleged P6.8 billion shabu shipment that slipped past authorities, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Guban's arrest over his alleged unscrupulous acts.
“For now, Guban will stay in the custody of the Senate till the
magnetic lifter inquiry is terminated,” Guevarra told reporters a text message.
The President himself acknowledged in a speech in Malacanang on Wednesday that no less than Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde asked him for the ground for arresting Guban.
“Sabi ni Albayalde, ‘on what ground?’ Just bring him to the NBI,” the President said, without elaborating.
Citing a “secret special report,” the President earlier accused Guban of facilitating the entry of illegal drugs and other commodities into the country.
When earlier sought for comment over the President’s order, Guevarra said he has yet to know more about the directive and its basis.
“No one has talked to me about it yet. I have to ask NBI if there’s a subsisting warrant or if there’s any ground for a warrantless arrest,” he said.
“I have not been watching the congressional investigation for lack of time,” he added.
The PNP however, on Wednesday night, said Albayalde had immediately coordinated with Senate Blue Ribbon committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon, who promised to consider Albayalde’s request to seek custody of Guban, pending the submission of the committee report.
Albayalde also instructed Police Director Roel Obusan, the Director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, to personally coordinate with Gordon.
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Bong Durana said they will wait for the committee report and the outcome of Obusan’s coordination with Gordon before taking custody of Guban.
Guban is currently in the Senate after he was held in contempt in September for lying during the blue ribbon committee's probe into the smuggling into the country of P6.8-billion shabu shipment allegedly hidden inside magnetic lifters.
A joint house panel of the House of Representatives investigating the same issue also held him in contempt for lying.