P13.3B worth of shabu seized in Batangas; Town police chief gets spot promotion

Local police forces in Batangas seized around P13.3 billion worth of shabu after intercepting a van loaded with around two tons of shabu in Alitagtag town on Monday morning, April 15.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. described the drug haul as the biggest in a single operation in the history of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“This is a result of an intelligence-driven operation that was conducted by personnel from the Alitagtag Municipal Police Station. The estimated illegal drugs seized is P13.3 billion based on the standard drug price,” said Abalos.

“Based on the initial screening of the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), they tested positive for the methamphetamine hydrochloride,” he added.

Based on the report, personnel of the Alitagtag Municipal Police Station led by Police Capt. Luis Q. De Luna, Jr. conducted a checkpoint operation in Barangay Pinagkurusan on Monday morning.

During the checkpoint, they flagged down a passenger van with license plate CBM5060 for inspection. 

“When requested about the driver's license, the suspect was unable to present the same. While being asked about his driver’s license, the suspect  became uneasy and uncomfortable,” the police report read.

The operation later resulted in the discovery of containers containing large sachets of shabu.

Police then arrested the driver identified as Alajon Michael Zarate, 47; a resident of Quezon City.

Spot promotion

Abalos said he recommended to national police chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil the spot promotion for de Luna, saying the latter showed what a police officer should be.

“On this day, you are promoted, spot promotion because of the excellence and the bravery you showed Congratulations, we are proud of you,” Abalos told de Luna during the press briefing.

For his part, De Luna said he and his men just did their job and the successful operation was a result of their determination and dedication to their job. 

Follow-up operations

 Abalos did not disclose further information regarding the drug haul, saying follow-up operations are still ongoing.

“What is important now is to conduct an inventory and immediately destroy all of these,” said Abalos.