Last May, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized P6.4 billion worth of smuggled methamphetamine or "shabu". BOC witness Mark Taguba identified businessman Kenneth Dong as the "middleman" of Chinese businessman Richard Tan. Tan's company in China, Hong Fei, consolidated the goods to be shipped to Manila, Taguba said. The goods were delivered to Tan's warehouse in Valenzuela where authorities found 604 kilos of shabu.
In an article of ABS-CBN entitled: Who is Kenneth Dong?, the alleged "middleman" is no ordinary man.
According to the article,
Dong frequented the Senate between 2010 and 2014, dropping by senators' offices to say hello, inviting staff to lunch, making friends with them on Facebook, donating raffle prizes to parties and contributing to fund raisers.It also revealed that Dong contributed to the campaign of Senator Risa Hontiveros twice.
Statements of Contributions and Expenditures show Dong, also known as Dong Yi Shan Xi and Yi Shan Dong, contributed to the campaign of Risa Hontiveros twice. He donated P3 million in 2013 and P5 million in 2016.
He also contributed to Senator Joel Villanueva's campaign in 2016.
Dong also contributed P3 million to then-TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva's campaign in 2016.READ ALSO: Lawyer Burns 'Dilawan' by Answering Their Questions Regarding Bautista's Scandal
On his wedding last November 9, 2013, some senators were also there as sponsors according to the article.
Apart from Hontiveros, the wedding sponsors included officials who occupy elective positions today: Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan; Senator Miguel “Migz” Zubiri; and Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel.Meanwhile, in a text message to ABS-CBN, Dong said he intends to clear his name at Wednesday’s hearing. He said he would never be involved in drugs.
Former Customs Deputy Commissioner Danny Lim and Senator Ralph Recto were also wedding sponsors, although Recto failed to make it on the day itself.
Senators Hontiveros, Villanueva, Pangilinan, Zubiri and Recto had one thing to say to Dong: tell the truth.
"Speak the truth at the Blue Ribbon hearing," Recto said.
"We believe those wrongly accused should be absolved and those guilty be held to account, regardless of who they are," Pangilinan said.
Villanueva said he is willing to inhibit from the investigation, if asked. But he would rather participate as he wants to get to the bottom of the controversy. "Come out and clear your name. Maraming nadadamay na I’m sure innocent officials because he loves taking pictures with us."
Zubiri is the only one who considers Dong a friend. "If he broke the law, then without fear or favor, friend or not, the law must be implemented," he said.
"May takot ako sa ating Presidente at mas lalong may takot ako sa Diyos!” he said.