The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday, September 7, seized P3.4 billion worth of crystal methamphetamine or shabu in an anti-drug operation in Zambales. It was the biggest drug haul by law enforcers so far this year.
Aside from the PNP and PDEA, the joint operation also included members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
At least four suspects, all Chinese nationals, were killed in the drug raid, said the PDEA. The authorities identified the fatalities as:
- Gao Manzhu, 49 years old, from Fujian, China
- Hong Jianshe, 58, from Fujian, China
- Eddie Tan, 60, from Fujian, China
- Youhua Xu, 50, from Quezon City
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar, PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva, and Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane were present in the post-operation conference.
In a separate operation in Barangay Tipo, Hermosa, Bataan, the joint force of law enforcers seized P544 million worth of presumed shabu and arrested three Chinese nationals. The confiscated illegal drugs were around 80 kilograms, according to the PDEA.
The arrested Chinese nationals, all residents of Binondo, Manila, were:
- Qing Chang Zhou, 37
- Cai Cai Bin, 49
- Longcai Chang, 45
According to the PDEA, the nabbed suspects belonged to the same group of Chinese nationals who were killed in Zambales.
The joint operation in Zambales started around 11:30 am on Tuesday with the team assaulting the Noah’s Place beach resort in Barangay Libertador, Candelaria, Zambales.
The team confiscated a total of 500 kilograms of presumed shabu, the biggest volume of the illegal substance seized so far this year.
The authorities also recovered four firearms, one car, four mobile phones, and two Chinese passports. According to Eleazar, the successful operation was the result of the strengthened coordination among law enforcement agencies.
“This operation was a result of the whole-of-government approach in our campaign against illegal drugs. Our coordination and cooperation with other government agencies, particularly with the PDEA, is now stronger than before so we are confident that this will be our strong point in our successful campaign to put an end to the threats of illegal drugs in the country,” Eleazar said in a statement on Tuesday.
The operation was conducted a day after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed complaints against PNP officers and PDEA agents involved in the February “misencounter.”
The NBI said on Monday that it had finished its investigation into the “misencounter” between the PNP and PDEA in February. Various criminal complaints, including homicide and attempted homicide cases, were filed against PDEA agents and cops involved in the shootout.
On the night of February 24, a gunfight broke out between Quezon City Police District’s Special Operations Unit and PDEA Special Enforcement Service near Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City. Two cops, a PDEA agent, and an informant were killed in the incident.
The incident pushed the both agencies to craft unified guidelines in conducting anti-drug operations. The guidelines were signed on July 9 – five months after the incident. – with reports from Randy Datu/Rappler.com