PNP's Maritime Group ordered to strengthen ties with PCG vs shabu smuggling

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered on Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Maritime Group to strengthen coordination and interoperability with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to address smuggling of illegal drugs through the country's territorial waters.

Eleazar said the move is aimed at countering the activities of international and local drugs syndicates wherein the illegal drugs are being unloaded in the international waters and later picked up by their local contacts and eventually smuggled into the country.

“In our relentless campaign against illegal drugs, I have already directed our Maritime Group to strengthen the coordination and interoperability with the Philippine Coast Guard to shield our territorial waters and coastlines from smuggling of illegal drugs into the country,” said Eleazar.

The order came after the Zambales operation last week wherein the confiscated hundreds of kilos of shabu were believed to have been smuggled via large ships in international waters which were later picked up by a yacht and later transported to the coastline of a remote town in Zambales.

Eleazar said that since airports and seaports are not tightly guarded and that all the shabu laboratories were already dismantled, the drug syndicates have been resorting to various modus to smuggle drugs.

During the early years of the Duterte administration, tons of shabu were found to have been smuggled with the alleged help from corrupt employees and officials of the Bureau of Customs.

Eleazar emphasized the need for strong coordination and good working relationship with other law enforcement agencies as this would strengthen the fighting chance to finally end the threat of the illegal drugs in the country.

Aside from coordination with other government agencies, the PNP is also strengthening its police-community relations to encourage the people to work with the police not only on illegal drugs but also on other criminal activities.