Another Davao group, ex-ISAFP officer in ‘Hello, Garci’ scandal linked to corruption in BOC

August 22, 2017 - 7:24 PM
Philstar file photo of customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba II.

MANILA, Philippines – Another group said to be also based in Davao that allegedly included a former military official, who was earlier linked to the “Hello, Garci” controversy, is being linked to corrupt dealings at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

On Tuesday, August 22, during a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba II, involved in the shipment to the Philippines of 604 kilos of shabu from China, testified that a certain “Tita Nani” had referred to him a second Davao Group that could help him release his other cargoes without being flagged by the BOC.

The Tita Nani that Taguba was referring to was also the same person who earlier coordinated his January 2017 meeting with the first Davao Group that included a certain “Jack,” said to be the handler of Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte in the latter’s supposed dealings with the BOC, and “Small,” who is allegedly Davao Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr.

According to Taguba, Tita Nani also referred to him the second group that included a certain “Noel” and “Big Brother,” whom he called “General Capuyan,” after he received an alert for his shipment while Taguba was being helped by the first group.

Taguba said he had worked with the first group for three months in exchange for a one-time “enrollment” fee of P5 million and a monthly bribe of P10,000 per imported cargo until his shipments were flagged by the BOC.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV during the Senate hearing identified the second group’s General Capuyan as Allen Capuyan of from the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983.

Capuyan, the chief of the Philippine Army’s Intelligence Service Unit in Davao from 1997 to 2000, is currently the assistant general manager for security and emergency services of the Manila International Airport Authority.

During the Arroyo administration, Capuyan was chief for operations of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) from January 2004 to February 2005.

In November 2011, during a Senate hearing, Lt. Col. Pedro Sumayo testified that his former superior, Col. Emil Sosa gave him P900,000 in October of the same year a month before his testimony and at the time when he was asking Capuyan, then head of the ISAFP’s special operations group, to help him regarding his floating status at the military.

Sumayo, who used to be the head of MIG 21, the ISAFP unit assigned in communications and surveillance, said he was told by Sosa that the money allegedly came from Capuyan.

It was Sumayo who was given copies of the “Hello, Garci” tapes by Air Force Technical Sgt. Vidal Doble. Jr.

The recordings, which came out in 2005, supposedly contained the phone conversations between a woman believed to be then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a man, who was allegedly Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, about the rigging of the results of the 2004 elections.

Sumayo said he had surrendered the tapes given by Doble to his superior Capuyan, who allegedly ordered him to burn the tapes.

Doble claimed that Capuyan and Sumayo were among those behind the so-called Project Lighthouse that supposedly involved the wiretapping of key personalities from both the Arroyo administration and the political opposition, which allegedly produced the “Hello, Garci” tapes — an allegation that Capuyan and Sumayo both denied.