By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – In an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM last February 4, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) spokesperson Derrick Carreon said, “The smuggling of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and the operation of drug laboratories are still rampant in the country.”
According to PDEA, since July 2016, they have seized more than 2.5 kilos of shabu with a street value of PHP 13.24b during drug operations.
In a report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Carreon also noted that Mexican drug syndicates have started exporting illegal drugs into the country through mail.
In another report by The Philippine Star, proof of this statement is the seizure of 6.89 kilos of shabu in Trece Martires City in Cavite on January 24, where the drugs came in a package from the U.S.
PDEA previously claimed that the drugs could have been smuggled by the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico.
Carreon pointed out that PDEA was working closely with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to foil attempts of drug cartels to bring in drug shipments to the country.
In another report by GMA News, Carreon said that the PDEA has requested the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) help in its campaign against streel-level drug personalities.
Carreon clarified that this help is separate from PNP’s Oplan Tokhang, which targets mostly drug users.
Meanwhile, in the same report, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao said that the re-launched Oplan Tokhang operations conducted from January 29 to February 1 had a total of 821 drug personalities who surrendered.
Bulalacao also noted that no death has been recorded since the operation’s re-launch last week.
New Bilibid Kings
In another report by ABS-CBN News, last, January 31, the PDEA said that a group of Chinese inmates at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa have started to supply drugs both in and outside of the detention facility.
PDEA Intelligence Chief Jigger Montallana told the House Correctional Reforms Sub-Committee, the group was not among those previously monitored by their agency.
According to the report, Montallana sought a closed-door session with solons to give more details on this new development.
“The subcommittee meanwhile directed PDEA to submit a list of the drug trade newcomers,” according to ABS-CBN News.
Montallana also clarified that the manufacturing of narcotics is not done inside the penitentiary; transactions are handled by inmates using mobile phones.
“Mobile phones continue to proliferate inside the national penitentiary despite security measures implemented by the PNP Special Action Force,” Police Chief Supt. Dennis Basngi told ABS-CBN News.
Deputy SAF Director Basngi said a total of 3,666 cellphones have been confiscated since October 2016.
“While we implement strictly the policies doon sa entrances we have to admit araw-araw may nakukuha pa ring cellphone from the inside,” Basngi said.
The report also noted that at present, there are 2 signal jammers in the NBP Building 14 under the control of the SAF forces.
“However, signal jammers for the maximum security compound have yet to be procured,” the report claimed.
Earlier this month, PDEA Director Aaron Aquino said there were “new players” in the penitentiary’s drug trade.
Aquino said the group had supplied the drugs that were confiscated in a condominium in Mandaluyong.
Meanwhile, the House panel has asked the Bureau of Corrections to submit a report on its actions to thwart the narcotics trade at the state penitentiary.