The Supreme Court (SC) upheld rulings by the Court of Appeals and the Davao Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissing criminal cases against businessman Dennis Uy and a customs broker.
Uy, then the president and chief executive officer of Phoenix Petroleum, and Jorlan Cabanes, were charged with the alleged smuggling of PHP5.9 billion worth of petroleum products in 2010 and 2011, initiated by Senator Leila de Lima who was Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary at the time.
“In sum, the lower courts’ finding of no probable cause are supported by relevant laws and evidence on record. Mindful of these considerations, the Court of Appeals’ affirmation of the dismissal of the charges is not tainted with grave abuse of discretion,” read the SC decision posted on its website on December 11.
“When probable cause is judicially determined by the trial court, questions on the propriety of the executive determination of probable cause becomes moot. At that point, questions on the accused’s guilt or innocence rests on the trial court’s sound discretion,” it said.
In 2011, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) charged Uy and Cabanes with violations of the Tariff and Customs Code.
The BOC alleged that Phoenix imported petroleum products with dutiable value of PHP5.9 billion reportedly without import entries and withdrew the importations despite failure to file import entries and without load port surveys in the ports of Batangas City and Davao City. READ MORE