'Dapat advance mag-isip': Barbers tells law enforcers to be wary of drugs inside 'snack parcels'

For Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, law enforcers should always try to outwit drug traffickers to prevent illegal and dangerous substances from entering the country.

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

"Ang mga sindikato ng droga ay patuloy na nag-iisip at gumagawa ng iba’t ibang pamamaraan upang maipasok nila sa ating bansa ang mga bawal na droga (Drug syndicates are always thinking and implementing different ways to smuggle illegal drugs into the country)," Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said in statement Thursday, Jan. 12.

"Dapat din, sa ating mga anti-drug law enforcers, na parati silang advance mag-isip laban sa mga nagpapapasok ng droga upang di sila mapalusutan (As such, our anti-drug law enforcers should always think in advance how to block these incoming drugs),” he said.

In particular, Barbers urged anti-drug law enforcers to be wary about parcels coming from abroad containing self-sealing foil pouches of snacks and other similar products, only these could have illegal drugs inside them.

The veteran solon issued his statement following the arrest of an alleged lady drug importer and the confiscation of P89.590 million worth of "shabu" on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Barbers stressed that drug traffickers continue to innovate methods of bringing illegal drugs into the country, thus local law enforcers must always be one step.

On Wednesday, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group conducted a “controlled delivery” of methamphetamine hydrochloride--also known as shabu--that was concealed in foil snack pouches.

A controlled delivery is an undercover operation that allows the delivery of an unlawful or suspect consignment to a person so that the item could be used as basis for his or her arrest.

Nabbed during the sting was 25-year-old Jolle Anne Cuer, the alleged local cohort of the drug ring that sent the package of shabu to the Philippines.

Cuer was arrested after she received a package of 44 self-sealing snack pouches containing 13,175 grams of shabu worth P89.590 million. The parcel had been declared as Grandma’s Chinchin snack packs and shipped to Cuer by a certain Micheal Olanrewaju from Nigeria.

“Dati rati, ang shipment ng droga ay itinatago sa mga produktong de lata, mga prutas, gulong ng sasakyan, furnitures, equipment, at iba pa. Ngayon ay medyo iba na at sa mga food snacks na nila inilalagay (In the past, drug shipments were concealed under the guise of canned products, fruits, tires, furnitures, equipment, and others. Now they've changed it up and are using food snacks),” Barbers said.