NBI ordered to explain why Customs fixer still in its custody

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 9) — A Manila court has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to explain why it is keeping Customs fixer Mark Taguba in its custody despite an earlier court order to have him jailed.

Manila Regional Trial Court's Branch 46 issued a show cause order against the NBI during Taguba's scheduled arraignment on Friday. The NBI has 48 hours to respond, or else be cited in contempt.

The Manila RTC earlier ordered Taguba's detention at the Manila City Jail amid charges filed against him for his alleged involvement into the multi-billion peso shabu smuggling.

READ: Customs fixer Mark Taguba ordered detained at Manila City Jail  

Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa reminded the NBI to follow orders from the court to avoid sending a wrong signal to the public.

Montesa said Taguba should not be given special treatment just because of his high-profile case.

Taguba is facing charges over the importation, transportation, and delivery of dangerous drugs. He is one of the suspects in the smuggling of the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China. The 604-kilogram drug shipment slipped through the Customs Bureau last May 2017.

He surrendered to the NBI after the Manila RTC issued an arrest warrant against him.

Taguba has a pending appeal for him to remain in NBI custody, citing threats to his life.

His lawyer, Raymond Fortun, on Friday said those Taguba named in his testimonies could finally seek their revenge once Taguba is in the city jail.

"Meron pong mga tao na natanggalan na ng posisyon dahil dun at napakalaki po yung posibilidad na meron pong mga tao na maaring gumanti at maghasik ng masama laban kay Mark Taguba," Fortun said.

[Translation: "There are people who lost their positions because of that and there's a big chance some of them will retaliate or put Taguba in danger."]

The Manila RTC also moved the date of Taguba's arraignment because of a pending petition for review with the Justice Department. The arraignment is set for February 23, when Taguba will plead guilty or innocent to his charges.