By Chito A. Chavez
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has alerted the public on the signs of the possible existence of clandestine shabu laboratory in their respective communities.
“It is observed that drug personalities have also changed their schemes in producing illegal drugs, from the usual mountain and far flung settings to residential areas. This is evident in the two successive dismantling of shabu and ecstacy laboratories in Hingoso Farm, Barangay Sto. Niño, Ibaan, Batangas on April 12, 2018, and in the three-storey residence along Dela Cruz Street, Barangay Tinajeros, Malabon City on April 13, 2018,” said PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino.
Accordingm to PDEA, the tell-tale signs of a possible shabu laboratory are the sudden presence of individuals, either locals or foreign nationals, in buildings or residence which are abandoned for a long period of time, presence of large water tanks, thick electrical wires for houses or facilities instead of normal-size wires, laboratory materials surrounding the property like empty chemical bottles, drums and other containers, specially-constructed chimney or ventilation fan which run for extended hours, strong chemical odors (solvent-like) coming from the facility, persons in the premises seldom come out, or do so only to smoke to avoid igniting the chemicals inside and excessive or irregular water waste coming out of the premises.
Other clues listed by PDEA are the presence of waste chemicals, discarded materials use to store chemicals, incineration of garbage, odd locks and bar windows, heavy security (presence of watch dogs, tall fences and barbed wires), the facility’s openings are all covered, and activities during odd hours and none during daytime, among others.
PDEA likewise appealed to the public to report suspicious looking characters and facilities in their neighborhood through “Operation Private Eye” with (02) 920-0967, and email [email protected]
“The public can report illegal drug activities, and in return, PDEA ensures the anonymity of the informant and the confidentiality of the information provided to counter fear which hinders the active participation of the citizenry in reporting. The informants are given reward and incentive scheme designed to encourage the public to report illegal drugs activities in their community”, Aquino added.