THE Office of the Ombudsman has created a special panel that would look into the smuggling of P6.4-billion methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as "shabu," from China in May 2017.
In a statement posted on its official website, the Office of the Ombudsman said the panel will have a fact-finding investigation into alleged anomalies in the release of the P6.4-billion worth of shabu, through the Bureau of Customs' Green Lane.
The release of shabu was initially reported to have been facilitated by a member of the "Davao Group," where no examination of goods was required as revealed by Customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba II during the Senate hearings.
Series of hearings ended with a partial report by the Blue Ribbon panel recommending the overhaul of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the prosecution of the key Customs officials led by now-resigned Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
The Ombudsman said the move to form a fact-finding panel is in line with the earlier pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the smuggling scandal should be looked into by independent agencies.