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Trial of ex-NBI exec in drug case to resume Nov. 28

MANILA, Philippines — The trial of a former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) executive who was linked to illegal drug activities following the discovery of a shabu laboratory in Catanduanes in 2016 will resume on November 28.

The prosecution said they are set to present two more witnesses against lawyer Augusto Eric Isidoro, a former official of the NBI Anti-Illegal Drugs Unit, and warehouse caretaker Lorenzo Piñera II.

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The witnesses, the prosecution said, are both seizing officers who were among the first to see the drugs in the warehouse in Virac, Catanduanes. One of the two is also an arresting officer.

Isidoro is facing a case of conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs following the discovery of the mega shabu laboratory in 2016.

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Authorities seized over P100-million worth of shabu and ephedrine from the said mega shabu laboratory.

During the trial on Friday, November 15, Ernesto Besmonte Tabor Jr., who served as an aide for NBI and later as Isidoro’s bodyguard, took the witness stand again.

The defense sought to clear Piñera’s involvement in the delivery of shabu to clients during the trial but the prosecution argued that the charges against Piñera only cover manufacturing and possession, not the delivery.

In a hearing in April, Lieutenant Colonel Alex Pederio, who previously headed the 504th Police Provincial Mobile Group in Region 5 when the laboratory was discovered, positively identified Isidoro and Piñera in open court.

Aside from Isidoro, four other persons are facing charges for conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs — Xian Xian Wang, Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy, and Jayson Gonzales.

Piñera, meanwhile, is standing trial for cases of possession and manufacture of illegal drugs along with five other accused who are also still at large.

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