By Ellson Quismorio
A reelectionist congressman has expressed concern over the timing of the discovery of cocaine bricks in his province.
According to Surigao del Norte 1st district Rep. Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas, illegal drugs are being found adrift roughly a month before the conduct of the midterm polls on May 13, and this could have an effect on the electorate.
“We don’t want these contraband to end up into the hands of syndicates or individuals especially during election season and use them to suppress the will of the Surigaonons,” Matugas said in a statement.
Some 40 bricks of cocaine with an estimated value of P257.4 million were found floating on the waters off Burgos, Surigao del Norte on Sunday. Heavily wrapped in packing tape, the bricks reportedly weighed 48.5 kilos.
It was the second time in two months that cocaine bricks were found off the province’s waters.
As such, Matugas reiterated his call for Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other law enforcement agencies to “dig deeper” into the resurfacing of these illegal drugs
The Mindanao lawmaker also condemned the use of the pristine Siargao Island–a popular tourist spot in the province–as a “transshipment point” for illegal drugs.
Matugas urged his constituents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities of people they may encounter.
In February, Matugas requested PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a thorough probe on the discovery of 40 cocaine bricks that were found floating off San Isidro town in Siargao.
He also sought the help of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), particularly on the deployment of one ship in the area of Siargao to prevent the occurrence of similar activity and possibly apprehend those behind the drugs transshipment.
The cocaine bricks discovered Sunday were wrapped with packing tape bearing the label “3D Bugatti.”
The same label was present in the first batch of cocaine bricks found in February, Matugas noted.