MANILA — Drug lords have become more dependent in importing finished products into the country rather than manufacture “shabu” (crystal meth) locally, the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.
Director General Oscar Albayalde explained that after two years of the government’s relentless war on drugs, there has been a decline in the number of large-scale local shabu laboratories in the country.
“Una, since nung umupo yung ating Pangulo (Rodrigo Duterte), talagang relentless and massive naman talaga at aggressive yung atingwar on drugs (Since the President took office, our war on drugs has been relentless, massive and aggressive). Napansin natin na talagangso far wala nang nadi-discover na shabu laboratory right after yung malalaki. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, ang huli dyan is yung sa Arayat (We’ve noticed that so far we have not discovered any large-scale labs. If I’m not mistaken, the last was in Arayat),” Albayalde said.
“After that, wala na tayong nakuha or na-discover na (we have not busted or discovered any) shabu laboratory, even yung mga sinasabi nila sa subdivision yung maliit, yung mga nagluluto sa loob ng bahay (even those which are homemade in subdivisions). So I think the President is right, as of this time, that so far, walang nadi-discover na mga (we have not discovered any) shabu laboratories,” he added.
The PNP chief said the sheer size of the country’s coastline presents a law enforcement challenge against drug lords, who have shifted tactics to importing drugs into the country as finished products instead of making them locally.
“Hindi naman natin dini-discount the fact na marami talagang nakakalusot. Remember andami na nating nahuli sa dagat natin. Hindi natin mabantayan yung dagat natin dahil marami ang shorelines natin, talagang malawak yan marami at talagang hindi mabantayan yan, even our Coast Guard hindi mababantayan yan (We cannot discount that there are those that slip through our security. We have already caught a lot at sea. We cannot guard our seas sufficiently because of the length of our shorelines. Our coastlines are broad and we cannot really guard them. Even our Coast Guard cannot fully guard that),” he said.
Albayalde pointed out that three months ago, a shipment of 27 kg.of cocaine was caught in Camarines Sur.
He said the same holds true for the ecstasy pills, which seems to be smuggled into the country instead of being made here.
“Even the ecstacy, just recently may nakuha ang BOC na finished product at meron din naman na nilulusot dito na liquid pa at dito na lang gagawin. Pero ang lumalabas dito, talagang hindi na nanggaggaling or napo-produce dito sa loob ng Pilipinas yung mga illegal na droga(Just recently, the BOC seized finished products. But there are those that get into the country, the liquid ones that they then make here. But now, it seems that these illegal drugs aren’t produced in the Philippines anymore),” he added.
Albayalde confirmed that they have also monitored policemen in Cebu who are drug dependents.
“We appeal to them na una, mag-surrender na lang sila sa atin or tumigil na sila sa kung ano pang masama ang ginagawa nila, na huwag na sana nila hintayin na sila ay madisgrasya pa (Our call is for these rogue police men to stop what they are doing and surrender before fate catches up with them),” he said.
Albayalde estimated that 1,700 individuals are on the PNP’s counter intelligence watch list of rogue officers.
He echoed assessments that drugs originate from China, which imposes the death penalty for drug offenses.
“By all indications talagang (it is really) sad to say, talagang nanggaggaling pa sa (it really comes from) China and even the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) has also mentioned that. Kahit yung mga nare-recover sa loob ng (Even those recovered by the) Customs. Ang intindi natin dyan, nanggagaling ng China yan (What we understand is that it comes from China) ,” the PNP chief said. PNA-northboundasia.com