Singson denied bail in HK on drug trafficking charges; remains jailed

July 26, 2010 8:47 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, July 26 — One Philippine lawmaker was missing Monday at the Batasang Pambansa for the first State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

He is newly-elected Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson, son of former Philippine deputy national security adviser and now Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson. The former remains in a Hong Kong jail on drug-trafficking charges.

Singson's application for bail was denied last week by Hong Kong authorities, it was learned today from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

He was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport on July 11 for alleged possession of a few grams of banned substance. He was arraigned at the Tsuen Wan Magistracy’s Courts for violating Hong Kong’s Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

Singson was visited in jail today by officials of the consulate to offer assistance, but he rejected it since he already has retained a private counsel who has represented him in court proceedings, according to DFA.

In a statement, DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. said that while Singson declined assistance from the consulate-general, the DFA will ensure that his rights are respected.

Conejos added that like any other Filipino who is facing charges in court abroad, the DFA will also ensure that it “will treat Mr. Singson’s case as in any other drug-related case involving Filipino nationals in another country. But we will make sure that he has his days in court to defend himself and his right to privacy is respected.”

Singson applied for bail on July 22. The initial hearing of his case is scheduled on August 19.

Initial reports said Singson, who is also a promoter of concerts in Manila by overseas performers, was purportedly in Hong Kong to meet up with a prospective performer. (PNA)

vcs/GJB

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