Coastal brgys tapped to guard WV against illegal drug shipments

Two Chinese nationals are shown with more than 160 kilograms of shabu concealed in tea wrappers following an antidrug operation in Alabang, Muntinlupa City on March 19. AP

ILOILO City – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 6 is seeking the help of coastal barangays to prevent illegal drug transshipments in Western Visayas.

PDEA regional director Alex Tablate said the role of coastal communities in the campaign against illegal drugs is very critical following the recent major drug hauls in the country.

“We are encouraging those residing in these areas na once may kahinahinalang mga tao na dumadaong, immediately report to PNP para ma-address po agad,” Tablate stressed.

Last week, two major drug recoveries were recorded in Manila.

Shabu worth around P1.1 billion was recovered in Alabang, Muntinlupa City on March 19. Three Chinese nationals and a Chinese-Filipino were arrested.

On March 22, shabu worth P1.8 billion was also seized at the Manila International Container Port.

In February and early this month, million-peso worth of illegal drugs were also seized in Zamboanga.

PDEA regional director Alex Tablate

“This is a matter of security sa lahat-lahat sa PDEA following the seizure of illegal drugs in Zamboanga. [The drugs were] almost the same with those recovered in an operation in Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City,” said Tablate.

PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said the “Golden Triangle Syndicate” – a notorious international drug group – was behind the trafficking.

Ang Malaysia at Indonesia and maybe Thailand are being used as transshipment points ng Golden Triangle Syndicate and from there papasok sa Sulu Sea at papasok sa Zamboanga area. From Zamboanga, idi-distribute ang droga sa Cebu hanggang umabot ng NCR sa Luzon,” Aquino added.

Aside from coastal communities, Tablate said PDEA Region 6 also sought help from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, particularly in disseminating information about their intensified antinarcotics campaign.

Moreover, PDEA along with other concerned government agencies recently formed a Seaport Inter-agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The task force aims to maintain tight security in all ports in the region against drugs coming from nearby islands./PN


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