By BEN BALCE
Staff member .
A CUSTOMS official here on Saturday called on authorities to immediately carry out and serve the arrest warrant against three South Koreans and at least five others accused of being behind the importation of some 6,500 metric tons of trash from South Korea.
“The warrant of arrest was issued a month ago (May 9) by the court. How come, until now, no one has been arrested?” asked John Simon, Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) customs collector.
He described the three South Koreans as “very dangerous,” adding that they could sneak in more garbage via another port.
He asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the police to serve the arrest warrant the soonest possible.
Simon said he was puzzled because since the day the case was filed, his office received no notice or update from the NBI, police or even the prosecutors.
He said he only received a copy of the arrest warrant from another source.
“There is something fishy here,” said Simon, adding that the Bureau of Customs and the NBI have gathered sufficient evidence and even have information about the addresses of the foreigners.
The foreigners accused of violation of the law on the control of toxic substances and hazardous and nuclear wastes are Chul Soo Cho a.k.a Charles Cho, Jae Ryang Cho and Sena Na.
The others named in the May 9, 2019 arrest warrant issued by regional Judge Marites Filomena Rana-Bernales are Neil Ceniza Alburo, Maria Jonessa Octavio Fung, Theresita Ceralde, Deolita Villa Sabellosa, and John and Jane Does.
“They are all here in the country. Why is it that the warrant of arrest against them has not been served yet?” asked Simon.
He said he was worried that those in the arrest warrant would leave the country unless the warrant is served immediately.
He said when he checked, he found out that no bailbond was posted.
The bailbond is P120,000 for each of the accused.
Simon also said a hold-departure order should be issued against the accused.
“They should face the charges against them,” said Simon.
The garbage was brought in through the MCT in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, from Pyeongtaek City, South Korea, in two batches last year. These were supposedly intended as raw materials for a recycling facility owned and operated by VNS Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp..