During Wednesday's hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court, the prosecution's first witness, Lt. Col. Alex Pederio, who headed the 504th Police Provincial Mobile Group in Region 5 (Bicol) when the laboratory was discovered, formally identified on the witness stand former NBI - Central Mindanao Regional Office (NBI-CEMRO) acting director Eric Isidoro as the owner of the property, where a shabu laboratory disguised as a warehouse was discovered in Barangay Palta in Virac in 2016.
Pederio also identified in open court the caretaker, Lorenzo Piñera II, and shed light on the circumstances of the involvement of Isidoro's wife, Angela Balmadrid, who subleased the property to one of the accused, Jayson Uy.
Aside from Isidoro, facing a case for conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs are Xian Xian Wang, Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy and Jayson Gonzales. Piñera II is standing trial for cases of possession and manufacture of illegal drugs, along with five other accused, who are also still at large -- the Uys, Gonzales, Paolo Palisoc, Phung Yuan Estorco and Sheng Wang. Isidoro and Piñera are under detention at the city jail.
Last September, the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered the transfer of the former NBI official from the Virac District Jail to the Makati City Jail after the Supreme Court, in an en banc resolution dated June 19, granted the request of former justice secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre II, to transfer the cases to the Makati RTC.
During the operation, police seized 22.50 kg. of shabu and 359.75 kg. of ephedrine, as well as other equipment and chemicals used in the manufacture of shabu.