MANILA, Philippines — Retired colonel Allen Capuyan, assistant general manager for security and emergency concerns of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), on Monday denied being one of the players pulling the strings at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in facilitating the easy release of shipments coming into the country.
“I’m not also a member of any group such as the alleged Davao Group. I have no personal transactions, either direct or indirect, pertaining to Customs business,” he said at the Senate investigation on the illegal shipment of drugs at the BOC.
“I am also not related or have been an acquaintance or in negotiation with any Chinese personalities suspected to have brought drugs in our country,” he added.
Importer-fixer Mark Taguba revealed in previous Senate hearings that he had transacted with Capuyan, also called “Big Brother,” and a certain “Noel” to facilitate his shipments.
Taguba also said that a certain “Tita Nani” referred him to Capuyan’s group after a failed transaction with the Davao group, whose members were allegedly Davao City Councilo Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr., Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and a certain “Jack.”
In his opening statement, Capuyan confirmed meeting with Tita Nani and Taguba at a coffee shop in April 2017. However, he said he was not expecting them as he was scheduled to meet with Jojo Bacud and a Customs personnel assigned at the MIAA, who would help him with intelligence gathering.
“Out of courtesy and respect for the people around, I said I will try to look into concerns but no commitments,” he said.
“Certainly I was no help because (I was) not familiar with Customs operations and (did) not (have the) capacity to do so,” he added.
He said it was the first and last time that he had met Taguba.
Denies receiving money from Tita Nani, Taguba
Capuyan also denied receiving P1 million from Taguba and Tita Nani.
“I have not received any amount from Tita Nani,” Capuyan said.
He said it was a certain Jojo Bacud who had introduced him to Tita Nani and a certain “Noel.”
Taguba first dealt with Bacud, who claimed to be working with the BOC’s Special Studies and Project Development Committee.
Capuyan said he met Bacud, whom he said was his acquaintance and underclassman at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), when he was assigned at the MIAA. Bacud, he observed, was conducting intelligence gathering at “Customs-related functions.”
The MIAA official also testified that when he heard of reports of the illegal drug shipment, he asked Bacud to write a report regarding the incident. Bacud prepared a two-page report that he forwarded to Capuyan.
The report contained the photos of Richard Tan with Customs officials on the day when the illegal shabu shipment from China was seized last May.
Capuyan then gave the report to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Finance.
He said he looked at Bacud’s report at face value.
Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, dismissed Bacud’s two-page report as hearsay.