Mark Taguba’s transfer to Manila City Jail will expose him to peril, says lawyer citing ‘kill’ plot

February 5, 2018 - 2:21 PM
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Customs fixer Mark Taguba annotates his presentation of money that changed hands at Customs in one appearance at the Senate Blue Ribbon inquiry into BOC corruption and the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu through the BOC's Green Lane. FILE PHOTO BY MONG PINTOLO, PHIL. STAR

MANILA, Philippines – Citing information about a possible threat on his life, customs fixer Mark Taguba, through his lawyer, on Monday filed an urgent appeal to a Manila court to reverse its order moving him from the NBI detention facility to the Manila City Jail.

In an urgent motion for reconsideration, Atty. Cas Sta. Agueda said she received a telephone call Sunday (Feb.4) from Mark’s father, Reuben Taguba, citing information he received that one of the government officials Mark had named in a Senate blue ribbon hearing on corruption at the Bureau of Customs and the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling case was moving to get back at his son. The elder Taguba is a retired member of the Customs police.

The official in question, who was not named, was “making steps to ensure that accused Mark Taguba be transferred to Manila City Jail, with the end-goal of liquidating said accused while in Manila City Jail,” said Sta. Agueda’s “very urgent motion for reconsideration” filed with Branch 46 of the Manila Regional Trial Court.

The RTC had last Feb.2 orally denied in open court the urgent ex-parte motion for Taguba’s continued detention at the National Bureau of Investigation.

Sta. Agueda told Branch 46 on Monday that Mark Taguba’s incarceration at Manila City Jail would expose him to “grave danger.”

The lawyer said that while they do not wish to “underestimate the capacity of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology,” the point is that with the huge number of prisoners at the overcrowded Manila City Jail, “the prison guards cannot ensure” the safety of each detainee.

Moreover, she added, trashing the argument that Mark Taguba needs to stay at NBI for his own protection effectively questions the “wisdom” of the Senate probers who had ordered the provision of security for Taguba.

Taguba was initially listed as a whistle-blower for the blue ribbon committee, but was nonetheless included among those charged recently by the Department of Justice in the case arising from the May 2017 entry, through BOC’s Green Lane at the Port of Manila, of P6.4 billion worth of shabu concealed inside printing cylinders.