Batac: PDEA destroys over P600-M worth of shabu in Ilocos Sur

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(Photo screen grabbed from Bombo Radyo Vigan live report)

Over PHP642.38 million worth of illegal drugs were incinerated on Monday at the Angels Crematorium public cemetery in Don Lorenzo Querubin, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.

The contrabands were found by fisherfolk floating in Ilocos Sur waters during the last week of June 2024 on three separate occasions.

“The pieces of drug evidence were destroyed through thermal decomposition or thermolysis, which involves breaking down chemical compounds with the use of tremendous heat. At 1,000 degrees Centigrade, all dangerous drugs are decomposed or broken down,’’ the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said in a statement.

The destruction process and procedures were made public upon the request of Ilocos Sur mayors for transparency.

It was witnessed by Ilocos Sur government officials, representatives of the Department of Justice, and other stakeholders.

PDEA-1 Administrative Division chief Atty. Marvin Tavares said the activity complies with Republic Act No. 9165 otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002’”, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 1, series of 2002, and the directive of PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio M. Lazo to immediately destroy the recovered drugs to avoid stealing and recycling.

He said there is no need for a court order to destroy the seized dangerous drugs because no person was arrested and no case was filed in court.

Ilocos Sur Governor Jeremias Singson thanked the PDEA for their commitment to doing their job and for the courage and integrity of the 12 fishermen who surrendered the illegal drugs.

β€œThe surrender of these dangerous drugs is crucial and it sends a strong message that we do not tolerate it in Ilocos Sur,” he said.

Illegal drugs confiscated in entire June 2024

The Ilocos Police Regional Office (PRO-1) on Monday said it confiscated a total of PHP556 million worth of shabu and marijuana in its various anti-illegal drugs operations in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies last June.

Ilocos Police Regional Office information office chief Lt. Col. Benigno Sumawang, in a phone interview, said about 13,254.8 grams of dried marijuana and 81,553.6 grams of shabu were seized during the 108 anti-drug operations, which resulted in the arrest of 116 individuals.

He said the bulk of the confiscated illegal drugs were recovered from the coastlines of Ilocos Sur and surrendered by fisherfolk from June 24 to 29.

“We commend the swift action and support of these fishermen who reported and turned over the illegal substances. Their vigilance and cooperation are crucial in our joint efforts to eradicate and block illegal drug sources in our communities,” PRO-1 director Brig. Gen. Lou Frias Evangelista said in a statement Monday.

Citing reports, the Ilocos Sur provincial government said the illegal drugs amounted to around PHP642.39 million.

Because of these developments, Evangelista encouraged the community to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activities or findings to the authorities.

He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has also intensified Bantay-Dagat efforts and instructed all unit commanders to collaborate with local fisherfolk within their areas.

Relatively, among those arrested last month are high-value individuals from the towns of Sta. Barbara, Rosales, and Bolinao in Pangasinan; Badoc in Ilocos Norte and from La Union. (Leilanie Adriano with reports from Hilda Austria via PNA)

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