MANILA – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented businessman Kenneth Dong to media on Tuesday after agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested the latter at the Senate for a rape case.
Aguirre said that Dong was arrested by NBI by virtue of arrest warrant issued by Paranaque Regional Trial Court on June 30, 2017 for the crime of rape.
The Justice Secretary said that the rape incident occurred last April 9, 2016 when the victim was then "deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, against her will and without her consent.”
Aguirre said the NBI would inform the court about Dong's arrest.
"If there are further proceedings, then the Senate has to address subpoena to the NBI," Aguirre told reporters during the press conference on Tuesday late afternoon.
NBI deputy director for intelligence Vicente De Guzman explained that the case against Dong cropped up during their background checking on the businessman who has been testifying in the congressional inquiries on the drug smuggling issue.
"This is a distinct and separate case; it involves a personal offense and has nothing to do with Senate investigation," he noted.
"This is the personal case of [Mr.] Dong," he added.
He said that it was the NBI's duty to do a background check on personalities involved in controversial cases.
The justice chief, meanwhile, assured that there would not be a problem should Dong be called in for a probe.
"If there's still further proceedings at the Senate, then the senate will just address the subpoena to whoever is holding him in detention," Aguirre said.
Dong's lawyer Karla Frias said the arrested businessman was innocent of the rape charge.
"My client is innocent. He is not hiding. The charges were never denied," she explained adding that there was pending motions in court on the said arrest of his client.
Dong will be detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila.
Dong is also one of the respondents in the drug trafficking charges filed by NBI before the Department of Justice (DoJ) in connection with the PHP6.4 billion shabu seized last May 26 in two warehouses in Valenzuela City.
In a 15-page letter complaint filed by NBI-Anti Organized and Transnational Crime Division (AOTCD) dated Aug. 14, Taiwanese nationals Chen Min and Jhu Ming Jyun, Chinese nationals Chen Ju Long, a.k.a. Richard Tan; Richard Chen; Li Guang Feng; and Filipino nationals Fidel Anoche Dee; businessman Dong Yi Shen, alias Kenneth Dong; Customs broker Mark Ruben G. Taguba II; Teejay A. Marcellana; and Eirene May A. Tatad were charged with violating Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals) of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The NBI claimed that the respondents were responsible for the importation of the illegal drugs from China and which were later recovered by authorities inside the warehouse of Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies in Valenzuela City, which is owned by Richard Chen.
“Subjects, through their indispensable cooperation, caused the importation of five wooden crates from China. These crates contain cylinders packed with a total of 605 transparent plastic bags containing methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous drug. The total net weight of the specimen is 602.279 kilograms. Thus, in violation of Section 4 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for importation of dangerous drugs,” read the letter complaint. (PNA)