Gordon on magnetic lifters: 'May laman!'

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, believes that the 4 giant magnetic lifters found in General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite contained shabu (methamphetamine).

"Samakatwid, may laman (There was something inside)!" Gordon said during his panel's probe on Wednesday, September 26, into the missing P6.8-billion shabu allegedly packed inside the lifters.

He dropped the statement as he was interpellating Eric Rodelas, the maintenance man of the warehouse where the lifters were found. Rodelas claimed that he was able to meet and assist the Chinese-looking persons who brought the lifters to their warehouse. (TIMELINE: The search for P6.8-B shabu 'smuggled' into PH)

While assisting the guests—whom he believed were their clients—to close the door of the warehouse, he said he saw one of them pull out a "grinder."

"Nakita ko po nilabas sa bag (I saw it being brought out a bag)," said Rodelas. He added that he wanted to see what they were doing inside, but 2 of them "prevented" him from going near.

For Gordon, it's already a red flag that they were operating illegally.

"Ang akin doon, 'yung gina-grind, 'yung droga. Anong purpose ng grinder? (For me, what's being grinded out are the drugs. What else is the purpose of the grinder?)" said Gordon.

This means that, so far, Gordon is backing the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)'s claim that the lifters were packed with shabu, contrary to the belief of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Gordon reminded Rodelas, and the owner of the warehouse who was present also in the hearing, Vicenta Cantemprate that they had the authority to check what their clients were doing inside their warehouses. Their lease contract, Gordon said, prohibits contraband from being stored. – Rappler.com 

Read more from Rappler's coverage in the search for the missing P6.8-billion shabu:

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.