Men linked to shabu lab ‘keep to themselves in jail’-A A +A
Sunday, February 26, 2012
SINCE they were detained back in 2004, the foreign nationals convicted of operating a shabu laboratory in Mandaue City rarely mingled with their fellow inmates, a jail official said yesterday.
One of the Chinese nationals convicted last Thursday of operating the shabu laboratory in Barangay Umapad is ill, his lawyer revealed.
Unless the appeals process works in their favor, these 11 men will face a life term and a P10-million fine each.
Jail Insp. Anacleto Dusaban, deputy jail warden of the Mandaue City Jail, said the 10 convicted men, particularly the foreign nationals, who were detained in Mandaue did not get involved in jail activities. (One of their co-accused is detained in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.)
The language barrier, as well as the nature of the charges they faced, may have been factors for why they chose to distance themselves from other inmates.
Of the ten detained in Mandaue, seven are foreign nationals.
They are Malaysians Siew Kin Weng and Liew Kam Song; Taiwanese Lin Li Ku; and Chinese nationals Bao Xiafu, Wu Tiao Yi, Tao Fei and Liu Bo.
However, whenever an inmate or a jail guard would try to speak to them, two of the Filipinos, namely Allan Yap Garcia and Joseph Lopez, would serve as their interpreters, Dusaban said. Another convict is Joseph Yu.
Despite being distant with other inmates, the men in the so-called mega-shabu lab case never caused any trouble inside, the deputy warden said.
Dusaban also revealed that the foreigners were visited by their live-in partners and girlfriends a few times.
In a separate interview, one of the foreign nationals’ lawyers, Vicente Fernandez II, said that one of his clients is suffering from a lung ailment.
“He’s been very sickly since the last time I visited him,” Fernandez said yesterday.
The case, he added, has really taken its toll on his clients, especially after the verdict was revealed.
He alleged that the court failed to appraise the evidence they had presented and had relied on the testimony of suspect-turn-state witness Hung Chin Chang.
Fernandez said that Hung had turned state witness to clear himself of the charges.
He further pointed out that while Hung has testified that Calvin de Jesus Tan financed their operations in Cebu, there was no corroborating evidence that money had changed hands.
Fernandez said they will be filing a motion for reconsideration on the case.
With former Regional Trial Court Branch 28 Executive Judge Marilyn Lagura-Yap now working as an associate justice for the Court of Appeals, Fernandez said he is hoping the new handling judge on their case will be more appreciative of his clients’ defense.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2012.