CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/14 May) — The suspect in the smuggling of high-end vehicles says the alleged “black book” that was among the items seized during the raid by a combined raiding team from the Philippines and United States was his diary and the shotgun seized was allegedly a family heirloom handed to him by his grandfather.
Bigcas said that contrary to the FBI’s preliminary report that the book contained names of a congressman, governor, mayor and top brass from the police, the book, he said, contains the names of friends and customers of his moving business in the States and motocross event schedules.
“Even if I haven’t used that (diary) for a long time, it really is just a diary. I’ve written names of my friends and bike skeds. I used it like anybody would a personal diary,” the teary-eyed Bigcas muttered.
Combined personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI 10), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Homeland Security (USHS) conducted the twin raids at the warehouses of Lynard Allan Bigcas here and in Talakag, Bukidnon. The raids yielded 21 high-end motorbikes and four cars, including a handcrafted motorbike owned by movie writer Skiff Wood.
Wood’s motorbike was stolen in Houston, Texas. He saw his Martin Brothers motorbike published at the suspect’s website, www.albigsmotorcycle.com, leading to the raids.
Alejandro Jose Pallugna, Bigcas’ legal counsel, announced during the press conference that they were suing the NBI 10 for allegedly confiscating items “without valid and justifiable cause.” Replevin is a remedy for an owner to recover goods that may have been unlawfully taken from his possession.
“We have filed a replevin and damages suit against the NBI,” Pallugna told reporters.
Pallugna called the impounding and confiscation of the vehicles in the twin raids as “not only highly illegal and abusive, but also baseless and unjust as said personal properties are all duly registered and licensed.”
They argue that all the seized articles did not have any legal impediment as these were “fully clothed with the proper documentation.”
For his part, NBI 10 regional director Jose Justo Yap welcomes Bigcas’ coming out and saying his side.
Yap said they had not been able to arrest Bigcas because of the absence of a warrant of arrest.
The NBI filed cases against Bigcas yesterday for illegal possession of firearms at the Bukidnon Provincial Prosecutor’s Office and at the Cagayan de Oro City Prosecutor’s Office as a result of the raids.
Yap said they are also coordinating with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) regional offices for information and documentation of the vehicles seized.
Yap said all the items seized in the twin raids are being kept at the provincial headquarters of the NBI. (Cong B. Corrales/MindaNews)