MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is on the lookout for more floating cocaine containers in the country’s seas after a number of similarities were seen in the packs seized off the coasts of Sorsogon and Isabela.
The cocaine containers were blue and were found in the waters near Matnog town, Sorsogon, and near Divilacan in Isabela, just weeks apart. The packs seized from both areas bore “R” markings, according to reports.
The connection was made following the discovery of the floating Isabela cache on Tuesday, February 6.
The Sorsogon cocaine package, found off the shores of Calintaan in Matnog town in late January, was made up of 24 bags of around a kilogram each, with a total estimated value of about P125 million.
The Isabela package, found near Barangay Dipudo in Divilacan, was made up of 18 bags, weighing around 19 kilograms in total and was given an estimated value of around P79 million.
PCG Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the Coast Guard will intensify its sea inspections in accordance with the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“While we have personnel who patrol the seas, there are also those who go around coastal barangays to find out any illegal activities,” Balilo added.
There had been other instances of Illegal drugs smuggled at sea, which the PCG said indicated that the Philippines may be a transshipment point for drugs from other parts of Asia.
Balilo said the PCG will buy more high-speed boats, and proposed the purchase and use of drones to make monitoring easier.
“The drone can reach as far as 5 kilometers. All of these are being studied. All the resources that will be used for the monitoring of the coastline will be prioritized,” he said. – Rappler.com