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P13.3-b ‘shabu’ seized in Batangas

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Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., expressed optimism that the country’s war against illegal drugs can be won with the public’s support.

Abalos made the statement shortly after the Philippine National Police-Region IV-A (Calabarzon) on Monday morning seized P13.3 billion worth of high-grade illegal drugs in Brgy. Pinagkrusan, Alitagtag, Batangas.

“This record-setting P13.3-b drug haul was concrete proof that the government’s policy of bloodless and preventive-centered campaign against illegal drugs is on the right track,” he said.

Abalos further explained that while the government has been relentless in its fight against illegal drugs, it has trained its guns on preventing the use of banned substances and on rehabilitating drug users, instead of waging a bloody campaign against them and their suppliers.

He also expressed relief that the illegal substance was seized before it reached the hands of illegal drug traders.

“Let’s just imagine if it reached the pushers and was sold on the streets. How many lives of our youth and countrymen will it destroy?” he said, adding that “We have been actively waging a war against drugs through our BIDA Program which focuses more on the prevention side while crafting policies on rehabilitation and law enforcement.”

The previous biggest drug seizure recorded was P11 billion which was seized in Infanta, Quezon in March 2022 resulting in the arrest of at least 10 suspects who were riding in three vans.

Abalos said in a press briefing that the illegal drugs were seized from a van after it was flagged down on an intelligence-driven checkpoint organized by the PNP-Alitagtag, Batangas municipal police at around 8:00 am on Monday, April 15. 

“We are here today to announce that this may be the biggest drug bust in the history of our country,” he said.

He was joined by newly-assigned PNP Chief, Police General Rommel Francisco Marbil; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Assistant Secretary Renato Gumban; Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas; PNP Region 4A Director BGen Paul Kenneth Lucas; and, other high-ranking officials of the PNP.

He said that the confiscated illegal drugs tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride as confirmed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The DILG Chief said that the apprehended suspect who was driving the van is under the custody of the PNP and will be charged with violation of Section 5 and 11 of Article 2 of RA 9165 of the Dangerous Comprehensive Drug Acts.

He likewise granted a spot promotion to team leader Police Captain Luis De Luna to next higher rank or Major, for his excellent work in the conduct of the said operation and for resisting temptation involving the multi-billion pesos illegal drugs.


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