Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to conduct lifestyle checks on several personalities tagged in the smuggling of shabu worth P6.4 billion last May.
Gordon said this during the Senate blue ribbon committee probe, as he questioned Customs fixer Mark Taguba about his family’s wealth.
Taguba’s father, Ruben Taguba, was formerly with the Customs police. He was a no-show at the hearing as he was confined at the hospital for hypertension.
Gordon disclosed that the Taguba family owns a resort and hotel, and a cockpit arena, and that the younger Taguba studied in Australia.
“Saan siya kukuha ng pampa-aral sa’yo at pati kapatid mo sa Australia? At nagkaron ng napakalaking bahay doon sa inyong lugar at magkakaroon ng mga sabungan…Ang sinasabi nila ay front lamang yun, ang pera ninyo nakasambulat sa buong mundo,” Gordon said.
“Is the BIR aware of the lifestyle of these people? The NBI, are you checking this out? I want a report from the NBI and the BIR on the lifestyle of all these people from Kenneth Dong to Taguba to his father to everybody,” the senator added.
Kenneth Dong is the alleged middleman for Chen Ju Long alias Richard Chen or Richard Tan, the Chinese businessman who owns the Hongfei Logistics warehouse where the contraband was found.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV then asked that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, also be subjected to lifestyle checks.
“We can do that. I’m not protecting anybody,” Gordon told Trillanes.
Paolo and Carpio are alleged to be behind the so-called Davao Group allegedly involved in the smuggling of shipments at the Bureau of Customs.