Saturday, August 18, 2018

Alejano: Duterte is just brushing off the alleged smuggling of P6.8B worth of shabu



The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is currently investigating the alleged smuggling of P6.8 billion worth of shabu that is thought to be inside magnetic lifters in a warehouse in Cavite.
Congressman Gary Alejano and President Rodrigo Duterte / Photo from Philstar

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, thinks that there is no need for this as he thinks that the containers do not have drugs inside them.

Because of this instance, Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano has accused the president of whitewashing the issue and simply brushing it off without a complete investigation.

It is not just the president who is brushing off the issue, however. Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña also said that the magnetic lifters were tested for dangerous drugs and that the results were negative.

Alejano however said that this conclusion from Duterte and the Customs Commissioner came to quick and that further investigation should still be done.
Congressman Gary Alejano / Photo from Rappler

Duterte was so quick to dismiss the tons of shabu that might have been smuggled into the country. Indeed, it was found out that the magnetic lifters do not contain drugs and the swab test yielded a negative result. However, this does not automatically mean that the lifter did not contain shabu,” Alejano said.

As also asserted by PDEA, the shabu would have been properly packaged with plastics, foil and asbestos designed to avoid detection even if a swab test is conducted," he added.

Alejano also mentioned that this is something that is very possible of happening because it happened just days before where over P4.3 billion worth of shabu was found inside two magnetic lifters that were seized in the Manila International Container Port.

"Therefore, the possibility that the four magnetic lifters may have contained shabu could not be dismissed easily," he said.
Congressman Gary Alejano / Photo from Bulgar

“If the President concluded outright that the four magnetic lifters did not contain shabu, he is whitewashing the ongoing investigations," Alejano said.

Currently, the National Bureau of Investigation is conducting further investigations amidst comments from the president. According to NBI spokesperson Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin, they will conduct an investigation.

"We will conduct our investigation independent of the comment of government officials. We rest assured that this is going to be a thorough investigation based on forensic evidence," Lavin said.

"We cannot sacrifice the quality of investigation in the interest of time," he said.

Lavin said "everything" has to be properly looked into such as the arrival of the shipment and "external factors."

"Where did the shipment come from? How was it shipped from origin to destination? Up to the point of delivery or where the lifters are presently located," he said.