A Philippine Coast Guard officer stands guard on board a floating methamphetamine laboratory in Subic, Zambales during a court inspection as part of the trial of accused Chinese nationals in this file photo from November 2016. Four Chinese nationals based in Hong Kong, suspected of manufacturing illegal drugs inside the fishing boat, were arrested in July of the same year.
MANILA (UPDATED) – The bail plea of four Chinese nationals indicted in connection with the seizure of over four kilos of “shabu” with hydrogenator in a “floating ‘shabu’ laboratory” in Subic, Zambales in 2016 has been denied by the Olongapo City trial court.
In a 26-page order, Olongapo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 75 Presiding Judge Raymond Viray said, “based on the evidence thus far presented, the court is not satisfied that the State’s evidence is weak to warrant the grant of bail to the accused.”
Win Fai Lo, Shu Fook Leung, Kam Wah Kwok, and Kwok Tung Chan were arrested on board the “floating ‘shabu’ laboratory,” a 50-meter-long fishing vessel anchored off Subic on July 11, 2016, and were indicted for the manufacture and illegal possession of the illegal drugs.
“[T]he court is not disposed to grant the present motion. While the evidence is still preliminary, there is no clear showing that the prosecution’s case is weak as to entitle the accused to bail.
“The trial is still going on; and it is not amiss to point out that even this disposition on bail is a mere preliminary appraisal of the prosecution’s evidence,” the order states.
The anti-drug operation was led by the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG), who were armed with a search warrant after receiving reports that the vessel may have served as a “shabu” laboratory or was “used to transport ‘shabu’ from overseas.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) hailed the ruling.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, the prosecutor handling the case, said,”We welcome this development especially because this case was filed just one and a half years ago.”
“The court acted properly and speedily based on nothing but the clear facts and evidence,” Navera added.