JOINT operatives of the Cordillera National Police together with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confiscated what is said to be the biggest haul of shabu in the region last Thursday in a rented warehouse in Baguio.
The police also arrested a Chinese national, 51-year-old Ming Hui aka Tan, who was holding contraband containing about 575 kilos of shabu valued at more than P4 billion. The operation was made in Purok 4 in Irisan before 9:00 A.M. last Thursday.
Baguio City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Rufus Malecdan Jr. issued the search warrant on Tuesday, NCRPO chief, Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo said.
The operation stemmed from the surveillance operations of the NCRPO, in coordination with PDEA, to locate the possible storage site of a big haul of illegal drugs until it was found to be in Baguio, Okubo said.
“Due to the unfavorable operating environment of these illegal drug syndicates in Metro Manila and rigorous anti-illegal drugs operation of NCRPO, these drug syndicates had no other choice but to hide these illegal drugs in Baguio City, which is known to have very low cases of drug affectation, thereby, becomes conducive for less likelihood of detection,” he said.
Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. assured Cordillerans that the shabu stash was not meant for consumption only in the city and the rest of the region.
“Don’t worry. These will not be distributed here just for you. They will be distributed to other places in the country. That’s why the whole country is affected by this war on drugs,” he said in Filipino.
The shabu was neatly packed in Chinese tea bags. They were similar to the shabu earlier captured In Manila last October, said to have amounted to 900 kilos.
Abalos said that they are seeing Baguio as a strategic location for shabu distribution but said that the sting operation started in Manila.
“The approach here is a whole-of-nation, whole-of-government approach. Not only PDEA, not only the police, not only the NBI conducted the operation. They joined forces. What is good is that the Cordillera police were also involved. This is just the beginning. We are going to have a lot more of these things,” Abalos said.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that the discovery has put tremendous pressure on drug syndicates as well as on other transshipment points.
He said that syndicates are looking for other transshipment points for their stash and Baguio is just one of them.
Informants who were instrumental in the confiscation of 575 kilos of shabu valued at P4 billion in Baguio City early this week received P4 million in cash incentives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. presided over the ceremonial turnover of the cash reward at Camp Crame.
Azurin showed the money, but the tipsters were not presented to the media.
He said it was decided not to present the informants for their protection, citing a follow-up operation against other people behind the drug haul.
“Ang iniimbestigahan natin diyan ay baka meron pang mga karagdagang mahuhuli,” Azurin said.