TWO separate anti-narcotics operations conducted by joint agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday resulted in the arrest of two suspected Chinese drug lords and the seizure of 155 kilograms of shabu worth over P1 billion, PDEA chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said.
The twin major buy-busts came as PNP chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar assured the citizenry that law enforcement agencies have further doubled their efforts in their crackdown against illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
Arrested during the first buy-bust at the S&R open parking lot in Barangay Baclaran, Parañaque City was Zhizun Chen, a 38-year old Chinese national said to be operating an auto supply company and residing at 168 Tower 2 om Soler Street in Binondo, Manila.
The suspect was arrested shortly after he sold a kilo of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth P6.8 million to an undercover officer. Also seized from the suspect were 37 more kilos of shabu worth P251 million and the boodle money topped by a marked P1,000 bill.
Two motor vehicles belonging to the suspect: a maroon Mitsubishi Lancer with plate no. WFG-362 and a silver Chrysler with plate no. WIV-952 were impounded by the PDEA.
Villanueva said members of the PDEA National Capital Region, joined by officers from the PDEA Cavite, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Task Force Noah, Parañaque City Police Station, National Capital Region Police Office Regional Intelligence Division, Southern Police District, Pasay City Police Station and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group were involved in the operation.
The PDEA chief said that 30 minutes after the Parañaque City sting, members of the same law enforcement teams conducted a follow-up operation in Villa Nicacia in Tanza Luma 6 along the Aguinaldo Highway in Imus City, Cavite which resulted in the arrest of Man Kuok Wong, a 38-year old Chinese national with the adopted Filipino name of Jose Baluyot Wong.
Villanueva said that recovered from the possession of the suspect were 117 kilograms of shabu worth P795,600,000, his China ID, driver’s license, the buy-bust money topped by a marked P1,000 bill and a mobile phone he used in making the illegal drug transaction.
Officers also impounded a Toyota Corolla with plate no. TPF-197, a Maza CX-5 with plate no. NCU 5075 and a Nissan GTR with Conduction Sticker F2P 235.
NCRPO director, Major Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. said that full cooperation between the PDEA and the PNP led in the successful sting.
“Napakalaki ng naging operasyon ng mga ahensyang nagsama-sama upang masabat ang nasabing halaga ng hinihinalang shabu. Ang ganitong kooperasyon at koordinasyon ang susi upang higit na marami pa tayong makumpiska at mahuling tulak at source sa ating bayan, the official said.
The two were said to be using their auto supply and used-car dealership as a front in their large-scale illegal drug trafficking activities in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions.
The two suspects are now under the custody of the PDEA-NCR in Quezon City and facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Gen. Eleazar said there will be no stopping them from their war on drugs as he reacted to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report which said that shabu remains the main problem of anti-illegal drug units in the Philippines.
The PNP chief emphasized that efforts of the PDEA and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) have made a considerable dent in the country’s illegal drug trade, particularly where shabu is concerned.
“Kabi-kabila ang mga nasasabat ng PDEA at PDEG na malakihang bulto ng shabu. Baka kaya din na nasabi nilang talamak pa din ang shabu ay dahil sa mga successful operations na ito ng PDEA at PDEG,” he said.
“Patuloy ang pinaigting na kampanya natin laban sa iligal na droga at makikita iyan sa mga high value targets o HVTs na arestado ng ating mga police anti-illegal drug units pati na sa dami ng shabu na ating narerekober sa ating mga operasyon,” he added.
On Thursday last week, PNP-DEG operatives headed by Brigadier Gen. Remus B. Medina, with the support of the launched a sting in Cebu City which ended up in a gunbattle that left three armed suspects dead.
Confiscated from the suspects were 10 kilos of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth P68 million, one M-16 automatic rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, one cal. .38 revolver, assorted live ammunition, the buy-bust money and their getaway car.
The UNODC reported that shabu continues to flow into the country from its neighboring states.
However, Gen. Eleazar said the PNP has long tasked concerned police units, including the Maritime Group, to heighten border security measures to prevent the entry of illegal drugs.
“Mahigpit po ang kautusan sa PNP Maritime Group na lalong paigtingin ang pagbabantay sa ating mga baybayin upang walang makakalusot na iligal na droga, partikular ang high-grade cocaine, na minsan ay inihuhulog lang ng mga dayuhang barko sa ating karagatan,” he said.
“Patuloy din ang ating koordinasyon sa mga drug enforcement agencies sa ibang bansa, katuwang ang PDEA at Bureau of Customs, para mapalakas pa ang ating border controls kontra sa pagpasok ng illegal drugs sa bansa,” he explained. By ALFRED DALIZON & GIL AMAN