THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Northern Mindanao has filed criminal charges against the directors and officials of Verde Soko, the importer of tons of Korean garbage to the Philippines, before the Provincial Prosecutors Office last Thursday, January 31.
Charged were Neil Alburo, president of Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation; Maria Jonessa Fung, treasurer; Theresita Ceralde, corporate secretary; and Deolita Sabellosa, Jae Ryang Cho, Chul Soo Chu, Sena Na, and Marcelo Ouano Jr., including "John and Jane Does."
The NBI charged them with alleged violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (RA 10863) and Toxic and Hazardous Waste Act (RA 6969).
The complainants of the case are Misamis Oriental 2nd District Representative Juliette Uy and customs collector of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) John Simon.
NBI-Northern Mindanao director Lawyer Patricio Bernales Jr. said the filing of the cases was the result of their investigation based on the reports, documents and evidences submitted by other government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
"We handle the criminal aspect of the case. Nag forward kita sa fiscal's office sa result sa investigation and it’s up to them to appreciate sa gihatag nato nga evidences sa ila, mga papeles and other documents," Bernales said.
Bernales said the cases lodged against Verde Soko were bailable offenses while respondents of the case will be given time to answer the complaint.
"Ang next ani is hulatan nato ang resolution sa fiscal pero tagaan to sila tanan og chance to answer," he added.
It can be recalled that around 6,500 tons of waste materials were shipped from South Korea to Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental in two occasions.
The first shipment arrived last July and was transferred to Verde Soko's facility in barangay Sta. Cruz while the second shipment followed last October.
Customs bureau said the two shipments declared as "Plastic Synthetic Flakes" were found to be garbage and hazardous wastes upon actual inspection.
Through the re-exportation order of the BOC, the second shipment containing the 1,400 tons of trash were sent back to Korea last January 13. The remaining bulk of imported garbage still at the Verde Soko's facility will likely be returned this month.