PNP will continue seaborne patrols with Coast Guard, Navy after blocks of cocaine found in Philippine waters
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they will continue to conduct seaborne patrol operations with the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy after the recovery of millions worth of cocaine in the Philippine waters, the PNP's spokesman said Monday.
“Our preventive measure is to continue our seaborne patrol operations with our PNP Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard (and) Philippine Navy. All the government agencies are helping to intercept or prevent the shipment of illegal drugs,” Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac told reporters.
Banac said they are investigating who is behind these blocks of cocaine found in the sea and for whom this will be delivered.
Reports said there are foreign markings in each block of cocaine that may be a lead on the owner.
Banac said it is possible that the Global Positioning System or GPS attached to the blocks might have been broken and this why fishermen found them.
“It shows that they had a problem in their recovery system. It is possible that their marking system, the GPS got broken and got lost,” he said.
But the PNP is not disregarding the fact that smugglers are using the Philippines as their transshipment point.
In a news report, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde said the recovered cocaine is intended to be delivered to other countries.
“So one of the angles we are looking at is these (cocaine) are intended for foreign buyers so our country may just become a drop-off point only and a foreign ship will pick it up. This can be a modus since the markings are written in foreign language,” said Banac.
“We know there are some parts in the Philippines that are transshipment points. There are a lot of (ships) passing there so it’s a big thing that we are monitoring especially our fishermen since they can observe if there is something happening in their area,” he added.
Banac said it can be possible that locals pick up the item and ship it to other countries.
Banac said it will be hard for them to find the drop-off point for the cocaine.
The PNP is asking for the public’s cooperation in recovering blocks of cocaine found floating in the sea.
“Help us in the PNP in recovering all cocaine there. If ever you found one, immediately inform us so that we can recover it and to give a wider campaign awareness,” he said.
Banac also warned fishermen who keep the cocaine to surrender it to the authorities or they might be arrested.
“ Our plea is to cooperate in our campaign against illegal drugs, surrender and inform our authorities,” he said.
“And if you are tempted to this kind of illegal acts, don’t continue because you know you are liable to the law. You will be arrested and be jailed,” he added.
Local government units are encouraging the public to surrender any block of cocaine they have in exchange for one sack of rice.
Last week, authorities were able to recover almost half a million worth of cocaine in the seas of Dinagat Island, Siargao Island and Camarines Norte. Ella Dionisio/DMS