House leader seeks congressional probe on discovery of cocaine in Catanduanes

Published March 26, 2019, 11:50 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento is calling on the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs to step in and look into the discovery of seven brown packages containing suspected cocaine in the municipal waters of Bagamanoc, Catanduanes.

Congressman Cesar Vergara Sarmiento (FACEBOOK/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Congressman Cesar Vergara Sarmiento (FACEBOOK/ MANILA BULLETIN)

He described as “alarming” the discovery of illegal substances in his home province on Monday.

“It must be probed as soon as possible,” Sarmiento, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, said in an interview.

“Ako mismo nagugulat sa bagay na ito. Marami ang nagtataka kung bakit may ganitong illegal substances na natagpuan sa aming karagatan dito sa Catanduanes. Dalawang linggo na ang nakalipas meron din nakuha ang aming mangingisda ng cocaine sa karagatan ng Baras, Catanduanes,” he said.

Sarmiento said he would immediately file a resolution that would prod the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers to look into the discovery of 8.6 kilos of suspected cocaine off Catanduanes.

He said the authorities should step up efforts against illegal drugs smuggling in the country.

“Sa mga kinaukulan – dapat may agarang action para malaman kung sino ang nasa likod nito at bakit may mga napupulot ng ganitong illegal substances sa ating mga karagatan. At – sana maiwasan na ang mga ito’y mapunta sa local market. Nakaka alarma na ang pangyayaring ito dahil marami ng ganitong bagay ay napulot ng ating mga mangingisda sa maraming parte ng Pilipinas,” Sarmiento said.

The suspected drugs were found by three fishermen, who are all residents of Barangay Bugao, Bagamanoc town.

According to reports, the seven brown packages have dollar sign markings with an estimated total weight of 8.635 kilos.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Bicol earlier said the recovered suspected drugs have an estimated value of P45.765 million.

 
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