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Grab cars, motorbikes used in drug trafficking—PDEA

DRUG dealers have taken advantage of the mobile-based app transport network vehicle services to deliver illegal drugs to their buyers, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

At a news conference at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, director general Aaron Aquino said while dealers use the social media to sell drugs, Grab cars and motor bikes had been hired to transport drugs from one place to another.

“Such modus has been a practice for such a long time,” he told reporters.

He said PDEA would coordinate with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to address the issue.

“There is an urgent need to stop this method of drug trafficking,” he added.

Aquino presented to the media Jovet Atillano, 32, an online seller of illegal drugs from Unit 506, fifth floor, Tower II, GA Towers, Epifanio delos Santos Avenue corner Sierra Madre Street, Mandaluyong City after his arrest Tuesday at 5 a.m.

“He has been using social media to transact business,” he said, adding “we had a hard time to locate him since he used to transfer from one condominium to another condominium every six months.”

Since June 2016, PDEA had kept an eye on Atillano, Aquino said.

ONLINE BUSINESS. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino presents to the media arrested suspect identified as Jovet Atillano, a.k.a. OJ, 32 years old and reportedly an online seller of illegal drugs and resident at Unit 506, 5th floor, Tower ll, GA Towers, Mandaluyong City. PDEA agents confiscated from the suspect 10 plastic sachets of suspected shabu worth P350,000, and 500 party drugs worth P1,000,000 at his condominium during a drug raid in Mandaluyong City. Manny Palmero

The agency seized shabu, party drugs, valium tablets and Mogadon worth P1.4 million. 

Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday criticized the judiciary after learning that the 890 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, seized by government agents in San Juan City late last year had not yet been destroyed.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, planned to send subpoena to Judge Jovencio Gascon for allegedly acting slowly on the P6 billion worth of shabu seized by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in raids in the city last December. 

The law states that the court should conduct an ocular inspection of seized narcotics within 72 hours after the filing of related criminal cases. 

The drugs should then be turned over to the PDEA and destroyed within 24 hours. 

“I’m willing to challenge the gods of law and subpoena this judge even if I know I should not ... subpoena him so that I will create a constitutional crisis where the court will say you have no right to interfere with the judiciary. And I will now say the judiciary is not doing their work,” said Gordon, during the continuation of the Senate hearing on the controversial P6.4-billion shabu smuggled at the Manila North Harbor from China. 

SHABU HEARING. DoJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre testifies Tuesday at the Senate in regard to the case of 890 kilos of shabu seized by government agents in San Juan City last year. Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, planned to send subpoena to Judge Jovencio Gascon for allegedly acting slowly on the P6 billion worth of shabu seized by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in a series of raids in the city last December. Ey Acasio

“This judge should be brought to the Ombudsman right away,” he added  

Resource persons at the hearing led by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said of the total 890-kilos, Gascon was able to inspect only about 500 kilos. 

Aguirre said he had asked the Supreme Court to expedite the inspection of the confiscated evidence after learning that the judge took a leave of absence in July and would be reporting back to work before the end of the month.

“I’ve been wondering why this shabu was not yet destroyed. As a matter of fact, during our last conference with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in Cebu, I raised this matter with her and I complained why it was taking so long for the judge to order the destruction of shabu,” he said.

Gordon then ordered Aguirre to submit an affidavit on his conversation with Sereno so that a subpoena might be issued against Gascon.

The senator, however, said later he would allow Gascon to be excused if he was indeed sick.

Agents of the NBI Task Force Against Illegal Drugs seized the drugs in three separate operations on Dec. 1, 23 and 26 following a four-month long surveillance operations on suspected drug hubs in San Juan.

The raids drugs also resulted in the arrest of 10 individuals, three of them Chinese nationals, said to be members of a syndicate identified by the NBI as “Red Dragons.”

Topics: Drug dealers , Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency , Aaron Aquino , Grab cars , Motor bikes , Illegal drugs , Senator Richard Gordon
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