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P5.4-m illegal drugs from Congo seized in NAIA

Government agents intercepted another shipment of prohibited drugs worth P5.4 million at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Customs operatives intercepted Saturday night a parcel from Republic of Congo containing 800 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, which was declared in the manifest as art table.

The parcel, which arrived at the Federal Express warehouse last Sept. 21, contained shabu inserted in the art table box consigned to a certain Joy Bido Mariel of Cavite.

The shipment came from Asuman Lopeta of 5EM Rue Industrielle Kinshasa, Republic of Congo.

Alerted Customs agents at the airport held the parcel for further investigation.

NAIA Customs collector Carmelita Talusan commended her men for their untiring effort to examine and profile shipments that resulted in the capture of several passengers and other personalities bringing to the country illegal drugs.

Last month, the Customs bureau turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency some P37.3 million worth of illegal drugs it earlier seized from the bonded warehouses of NAIA.

The agency haul consisted of 5,239 grams of shabu which were concealed in various items like a baby carrier, camera, finance magazines and bar tools. The contraband were interdicted last May, June and July, respectively.

Aside from shabu, 1,000 pieces of party drugs known as Ecstacy, which was concealed in wooden toys, were seized on July 20.

The seizures, Talusan said, were due to consistent “reform initiatives and his five-point program of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.”

Lapeña said the shabu mostly came from the United States while the Ecstacy came from Germany.

Since Aug. 30, 2017, the agency has been very proactive and relentless in its effort to combat the smuggling of illegal drugs. The bureau was able to intercept an estimated P3.436 billion worth of illegal drugs and arrested a total of 23 drug personalities.

“The Bureau of Customs is very much on board in the country’s war against drugs and we will exert our efforts to continue protecting our nation and prevent the use of our ports in the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country,” said Lapeña.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the recent Social Weather Station survey where majority of the respondents favored the government’s war on drugs Filipinos feel is proof that most Filipinos feel helpless in dealing with the drug scourge.

Because of this, he said people are now  willing to allow the government to use its iron fist to battle the problem

“Rightly or wrongly, they only experience the same under the administration and they are even willing to give the authorities more allowance in dealing with the drug problem,” said Lacson, a former PNP chief.

Sen. Koko Pimentel said this is the very first administration which has targeted drugs.

“Since drugs is really we one of the main problems then, we should support this administration’s war on drugs,” Pimentel said.

“But at the same time, it constantly reminds our law enforcers that the war on drugs can and should be carried out in accordancd with law,” he added.

“What is so didficult with that? For law enforcers to follow the law when implementing the law? That should be easy for them to do.” Pimentel said.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile,  expressed doubts on the result of the survey, saying the respondents may have felt afraid when asked whether tjey support the President’s war on drugs.

He insisted that Filipinos were klled left and right like animals under Oplan Tokhang that can also result to a situation wherein those opposed to the drug war can also be victims.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said she does nit know if the survey truly reflects the people’s current sentiments on the government war on drugs. She siad the survey, conducted on July 27 to July 30 is already ‘stale’​

Topics: Bureau of Customs , Panfilo Lacson , Joy Bido Mariel , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
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