By Aaron Recuenco
Police anti-narcotics agents seized more or less P3 billion worth of shabu in two separate buy-busts in Makati City and Las Piñas City that started Tuesday night.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said a total of 388 kilos of shabu were confiscated in the two operations which he described as the biggest drug haul this year.
Gamboa said the operation started at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday on Banuyo Street in Barangay San Antonio in Makati City.
Nabbed was Liu Chao, a Chinese who was described as the alleged safekeeper of the seized shabu.
The shabu were hidden in large travelling bags and other places in the apartment rented by Chao, with the police saying that the illegal drugs are ready for distribution.
Gamboa said that Chao rented an apartment in Makati City two weeks ago.
Chao reportedly started selling shabu through his contacts, and police got wind of the sale.
“There were a series of test buy, from one kilo to six to seven kilos. After this, an operation was conducted last night (Tuesday),” said Gamboa.
Realizing that he was transacting with a policeman, Chao ran away and went inside the apartment where the police found the shabu.
In a follow-up operation at around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, two alleged couriers of Chao were collared in a buy-bust in Barangay Manuyo in Las Pinas City.
They were identified as Joel Bustamante and Merwin Bustamante, both residents of Barangay Tinajeros, Malabon.
Col. Segundo Lagundi, Las Piñas City police chief, said the suspects yielded a total of ₱115.6 million worth of shabu, weighing at least 17 kilos, which they concealed in 17 Chinese Green tea bags.
After their arrests, Lagundi said that, the duo admitted that they were working for Chao as drug couriers.
Makati warns vs drugs
Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay warned locals and foreigners involved in the illegal drug trade that they have no place in the city.
Mayor Binay made the statement following the arrest of a Chinese national during a raid in Barangay San Antonio.
“Let me remind everyone, both locals and foreigners, of Makati’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy against all forms of illegal drugs and substances. There will be no special treatment, no sacred cows when drugs are involved,” Mayor Abby said.
“The full force of the law will be brought down on anyone who would dare to deter us from attaining a ‘Drug-Free Makati’,” she stressed.
Authorities have been declaring that there are no longer shabu laboratory in the country, raising question as to where the seized shabu came from.
Gamboa said that they believed the illegal drugs were possibly smuggled anew.
“This is usually transported by air ir by sea. But definitely, these came from outside (country),” said Gamboa
After the illegal drugs were received by local contacts, they were then distributed in various parts of Metro Manila and other areas. (With reports from Joseph Almer Pedrajas and Dhel Nazario)