MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Kenneth Dong, the alleged middleman in the shipment of P6.4-billion worth of shabu, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he was accused of committing rape in Cebu.
Dong, a known patron of politicians and godson of senators, was taken into custody by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents after he participated in the Senate’s inquiry into the big-time smuggling of shabu that was able to enter the country via the Bureau of Customs’ express lane.
The arrest warrant, dated July 21, 2016, was issued by Judge Aida Estrella Macapagal of the Parañaque Regional Trial Court-Branch 195 after Denise Uy Jao, a businesswoman, filed a complaint in June last year against Dong, whom she accused of raping her while she was unconscious.
But Dong denied the allegation, claiming that it was just a setup by his own friend.
“This is all a setup, kalaban ko pa dito kaibigan ko pa,” he said.
Authorities did not handcuff Dong while he was at the Senate building in Pasay City. He was escorted out of the establishment and was read his Miranda rights before he was brought to the NBI headquarters in Manila for booking procedures and locked up at the bureau’s detention center.
Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Ralph Recto became Dong’s godparents in his November 9, 2013 wedding with Lovell Tee at the Shrine of Jesus followed by a reception at Hotel Sofitel, both located in Pasay.
Hontiveros, Pangilinan and Zubiri admitted knowing Dong but not as someone allegedly linked to narcotics. They confirmed that he is their godson, whom they knew as a businessman, a benefactor, or a poll campaign donor.
The office of Sen. Joel Villanueva, earlier reported by InterAksyon as among the wedding godparents, clarified on Wednesday that he was not. Villanueva was instead beneficiary of a campaign contribution from Dong.
Recto was also among Dong’s ninongs but said that he had failed to attend the nuptial.