Batac: P6M worth of shabu recovered in Ilocos Norte waters

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Coastal patrollers have intensified monitoring in Ilocos Norte following the recovery of around PHP6 million worth of shabu that a fisherman saw floating in the coastal waters of Bubon in Burgos, Ilocos Norte on Tuesday.

Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) director PCOL Frederick Obar, in a press conference at Camp Valentin S. Juan in this city on Wednesday, confirmed the single plastic pack similar to those recovered in Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan waters in the past few weeks was positively identified as methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

“Our sea-based units such as the Philippine Coast Guard, Navy, and Maritime have been closely monitoring our coastal areas while reinvigorating our Barangay Information Networks (BINs) to work with us,” he said, citing the possibility that similar items may still be found in the seawaters.

He, likewise, enjoined the public to report immediately to the police if they see similar items or find any suspicious activities.

According to P/Capt. Jenine Lingan, chief of the Burgos municipal police station, a fisherman saw the plastic pack floating in seawaters at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

“Aware of the continuing recoveries of contraband in the region, the fisherman immediately informed what he saw to their president (fisheries association) and the latter called the attention of authorities who facilitated the recovery of the package floating in the sea,” said Lingan.

According to Obar, this is a good practice of community engagement as the INPPO had been organizing Barangay Information Networks and conducting capability building activities with the Barangay and Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Councils to strengthen intelligence network with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He said the fisherman who saw the item happened to be a member of the village information network organized by the PNP.

When sought for his analysis on the series of drug recoveries in the region, Obar said a more competent level of authority is now doing the investigation.

“It is not on my level to assess or make an analysis. There is a more competent level to that. They are connecting it and there is a certain system being used such as monitoring of vessels and so on” he said.

According to the police report, a total of 105 kilos of similar blocks of shabu with a market value of more than PHP600 million were recovered in the Ilocos Region since June 24.

Except for samples left for chemical analysis in the future, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) destroyed the recovered items at the Angels Crematorium public cemetery in Don Lorenzo Querubin, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur on July 8.

PDEA director general Moro Virgilio Lazo said the investigation is still ongoing to trace the source of the contraband.

“Through a scientific investigation, we want to know how the contraband reached Ilocos waters,” he said in a media interview after incinerating the illegal drugs. (Leilanie Adriano via Philippine News Agency)

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