THE government on Saturday urged the public to continue taking active role in the campaign against illegal drugs, which remain the serious concern of the government under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This came as a recent anti-drug operation in Valenzuela City yielded more than 600 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, worth P3 billion.
Joint elements of the National Capital Region Police Office, Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in close coordination with the Chinese government through the Office of the National Narcotics Control Commission, Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security and Chinese Customs conducted the successful operation last Friday.
The drugs were recovered after the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service issued two Letters of Authority against two warehouses located at 5510 De Castro Subdivision, Paso de Blas and Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City.
The implementation of the first LOA in Paso de Blas resulted in the seizure of more or less 504 kilos of white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu, while the second LOA in Barangay Ugong yielded more or less 100 kilos of white crystalline substance also suspected to be shabu.
The consignee of the contraband, identified as Fidel Dee, a Filipino, was arrested during the operation while the lessees of warehouses identified as Jhu Ming Jyun and Chen Min, both foreigners, were able to escape but will be charged with violations of Republic Act 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).
Dee, who operates businesses on F. Bautista Street in Barangay Ugong and Aster Street, Barangay Paso de Blas, both in Valenzuela City, is now detained at the PDEA Detention Facility in Quezon City.
The confiscated substance in Paso de Blas were turned over to the NBI Forensic Laboratory while the pieces of drug evidence in Barangay Ugong were forwarded to PDEA Laboratory Service for qualitative and quantitative examination.
As this developed, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian assured the public of the local government’s heightened vigilance against dubious elements to prevent them from making the city a transit point for their illegal goods.
The mayor said the city government remains headstrong in fighting these nuisances by working closely with the agencies tasked to fight illegal drug activities such as the PDEA, the Bureau of Customs, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police as drug syndicates become more sophisticated in transporting prohibited substances.
“The LGU will remain alert and active in employing measures to see to it that our numerous industrial establishments and warehouses are only used for legal purposes,” the mayor said.
Mayor Gatchalian earlier commended the multi-agency efforts of BOC, PDEA, NBI and the Valenzuela City Police Station that led to the recovery of the large haul of high-grade shabu.
The local chief executive encouraged residents to be alert in guarding their own neighborhood from proliferation of illegal drugs and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña, meanwhile, said the huge haul of shabu was the result of the continuing support of the people in the community and the revitalized cooperation and collaboration between Chinese and Philippine drug law enforcement authorities following the state visit of President Duterte to China on Oct. 16 to 21, 2016.
During the visit, officials of PDEA and the ONNCC signed the Protocol On Cooperation governing intelligence sharing and joint operations.
A bilateral meeting and investigation between PDEA, ONNCC and the Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency was held in February to March 2017 wherein the initial details of the joint operation were discussed.
Thereafter, the Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency coordinated with Chinese Customs for the controlled delivery of the illegal drugs shipment.
President Duterte recently signed an Executive Order creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs to address the drug problem in the country.
ICAD will address the present gaps and issues encountered by various agencies mandated to implement anti-drug laws and policies as well as promote an environment that is conducive to synergy among all agencies.
Meanwhile, NCRPO director Oscar Albayalde said the public’s active participation is also important in the government’s fight against drug trafficking. He added drug trafficking and its use remain a big problem in the country.
Albayalde emphasized that collective efforts, support and cooperation of the public and the government will greatly contribute the success on war against illegal drugs and criminality.
He said that the NCRPO will lead the campaign and will not stop until all barangays in Metro Manila will be cleared from illegal drugs.
“While we labor on our police operations, we have to look at building frontiers that will provide us sustainable progress on our war on drugs. We are open on looking at the best practices adapted locally and internationally. We look forward to working with agencies across our region so we can all together succeed in addressing this problem on illegal drugs,” Albayalde said.
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