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Senate panel cites 2 traders for contempt

By: Hannah L. Torregoza

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee yesterday cited for contempt two Chinese businessmen who faced the Senate to air their side on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China that were seized in a warehouse in Valenzuela City last May for lying about the raid.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairperson of the committee, cited for contempt Richard Tan, 48 – also known as Chen Ju Long and owner of the Hong Fei Logistics, the warehouse where the drugs were found; and Manny Li or Li Guang Feng – who allegedly looked for a broker to handle the importation of the illegal shipment.

Kenneth Dong, or Dong Yi Shen Xi, a resident in Parañaque City, helped find Li a Filipino broker for his supposed Chinese client and supposedly served as the middleman. Tan appeared at the Senate probe together with his interpreter.

Dong, however, was spared contempt citations while Tan and Li were placed under Senate custody. But Gordon warned Dong, and other “key players” in the shipment, particularly Mark Taguba II, Teejay Marcellana, and other persons that were involved in the illegal shipment.

“I will not hesitate to (cite you for contempt). You are already in hot water because you helped. So be warned,” Gordon said as he requested the Department of Justice to enforce a hold departure order against them.

In his affidavit, Tan, a member of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, “categorically and vehemently” denied the “reckless allegations, imputations, and insinuations, including the one made by Mr. Taguba” that he was the one responsible for the drug shipment.