DDB believes drug trade to weaken with confiscation of P2.6B “shabu”
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) on Thursday expressed the belief that the distribution of illegal drugs in the country would weaken following the seizure of P2.6-billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in recent operations in Metro Manila.
“Well definitely. These almost 400 kilos (of shabu) were removed from the market so there will be a vacuum somewhere on the supply side but hopefully we can still decrease the demand with the effort of the other agencies,” DDB chairman Catalino Cuy said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
The Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) in separate operations this week in Makati City and Las Pinas City was able to arrest a Chinese national, who was allegedly a member of a drug syndicate, and his two alleged drug couriers and confiscated from them more than 300 kilos of shabu amounting to P2.6 billion.
With the seizure of the illegal drugs, Cuy said the government is winning on its campaign against illegal narcotics, especially now that the public is helping the law enforcement agencies.
“We see that we win now this time because we were able to confiscate (huge amount of illegal drugs) and what is important is public awareness,” he said.
“So for DDB, I believe we are winning the war or winning the campaign (against illegal drugs),” he added.
Meanwhile, PNP officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa assured the proper inventory of the confiscated illegal drugs as prescribed by law. This includes the presence of an elected official, member of the media and representative of the Department of Justice.
However, Gamboa, admitted that they had a hard time inviting a media representative.
“The media in the area told me it was a huge amount… they are afraid also… but we managed to find someone who will witness (the inventory),” he said.
The official also said that he reminded the policemen on the chain of custody to ensure the conviction of the suspects.
PDEG director, Police Colonel Romeo Caramat Jr. said despite the huge confiscation, drug lords are expected not to easily give up in doing their illegal activities.
“The drug syndicates will not easily give up this kind of business because this is a big industry,” Caramat said.
Caramat said the two drug couriers they arrested came from the Visayas region.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) acting director, Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, said Central Visayas is one of the downlines of illegal drugs from Metro Manila.
“One of the downlines is the Central Visayas because when I was assigned there when we confiscated a huge amount of (shabu), which was packed in tea bags, we worked on locating the possible source… so, therefore, all drugs came from Luzon,” Sinas said.
“They (illegal drugs) are not all distributed in NCR alone,” he added.
The PNP said the confiscation of this huge amount of illegal drugs was proof of the government's intensified campaign. Ella Dionisio/DMS