Government still not taking alleged entry of P6.8-B shabu as ‘gospel truth’

Published August 14, 2018, 2:51 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is not yet taking the alleged entry of P6.8 billion worth of shabu into the country as “gospel truth.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said a comprehensive investigation must still be conducted to determine the truth behind the seizure of magnetic filters suspected of containing smuggled illegal drugs.

Roque admitted that the statement of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino that a ton of shabu could be circulating the market was mere “speculation” pending the results of the probe.

“The Executive Secretary has ordered the NBI to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter. This was personally relayed to me by the Executive Secretary yesterday afternoon,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.

“Of course, this is a reason for alarm dahil malaki ‘yung nahuli. ‘Yung sinasabi na posibleng nakapasok, ‘yan ang speculation pa. Hindi naman pa tinatanggap na gospel truth na ‘yan [The alleged entry of illegal drugs is still speculation. We don’t accept it as gospel truth],” he added.

Authorities recently seized two large magnetic filers that held 500 kilograms of shabu from an unclaimed container at the port of Manila. Four identical magnetic filters were later discovered by anti-drug agents at a warehouse in Cavite. The empty containers were suspected to contain 1,000 kilograms of shabu with a street value of P6.8 billion.

Aquino claimed that a ton of shabu from Taiwan slipped through law enforcement agencies and could have made their way to the streets.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Isidro Lapeña, however, contradicted Aquino’s statement, saying there were no traces of illegal drugs in the empty magnetic filters.

Roque maintained that there was “no evidence” yet that a huge shipment of shabu was now circulating the country.

“What we are sure is what was apprehended. I’m reacting to the statement of General Aquino na mayroon pang mas malaking nakalusot na pero parang speculation lang naman iyon, wala pa namang ebidensiya na may mas malaking nakalusot na [I’m reacting to the statement of General Aquino that there was a bigger shipment that slipped past authorities but that is just speculation. There is no evidence yet that it happened], “ he said.

“He was just speculating too, okay? So wala naman pong facts pa,” he added.