Drug smugglers don’t stand a chance vs BOC-NAIA; Bye, Sir Mon

August 01, 2020

ON behalf of my UST Journalism batchmates, our deepest condolences and prayers to the bereaved loved ones of our dear professor, Ramon ‘Mon’ S.  Francisco on his passing last July 27.

Learning with Sir Mon was always fun. More often than not, he would address us, his lady students, not by our real names but by the names of then, young showbiz personalities.  To him, I was ‘Janice’ maybe because of my diminutive size. He cracked jokes and was a usually jolly fellow with a great sense of humor.

A post from the UST Journalism Society described him thus: Summa Cum Laude (Journalism, 1967); former coordinator, UST Journalism Program; former associate editor, The Manila Bulletin and former editor-in-chief of The Flame.

Let us please pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

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Kudos to the men and women guarding our port at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) against the entry of illegal drugs into the country, particularly those assigned at the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

Just before the weekend, two innocent-looking cans of chocolate wafers were intercepted by vigilant BoC-NAIA personnel.

These in cans were described in the covering Airway Bill as “Toys/Present” in an apparent attempt to dupe the Customs authorities.

According to the BoC-NAIA, Customs examiners were conducting 100 percent physical examination of unclaimed DHL cargoes with the intention of  expediting the disposal of abandoned and/or overstaying cargoes at the NAIA Customs Bonded Warehouses when the drugs were discovered.

While carrying out their duty, the alert personnel were indeed able to find that the shipment  contained chocolates, stuffed toys, candies, slippers, socks.

However,they  also were able to discover that the two cans purportedly containing chocolate wafers was actually merely used to conceal contraband, as it had in it 640 grams of metamphetamine hydrochloride or what is commonly known as shabu.

BoC-NAIA authorities said the seized 640 grams of shabu have an estimated street value of P4.5 million at the very least.

Records show that the seized illegal drugs came from Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., and were consigned to a certain resident of Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Subsequently, field tests were conducted by CAIDTF and the Chemical Laboratory Analysis conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confirmed that indeed, the seized white crystalline substance was shabu.

The seized illegal drugs were promptly coordinated to the PDEA for further profiling and case build-up against the importers and responsible persons for possible prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The seizure is a clear manifestation of the BoC-NAIA’s commitment, based on the guidance of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to thwart any and all  attempts to smuggle dangerous drugs into the country, also in line with the policy of President Rodrigo Duterte, no less.

The BoC-NAIA, as it is, is currently busy processing shipments that have to do with the country’s fight against COVID-19 so that they can be expedited as a matter of urgency.

Then, here comes drug smugglers who think they can take advantage of the situation and sneak into the country illegal drugs, in the wake of the pandemic and all.

The Boc-NAIA personnel meant to devote their time attending to a more purposeful function which is to help the government by facilitating the swift processing of COVID-related equipment and effects are instead busy with seizing the illegal drugs, doing an inventory, all necessary coordination with other concerned government agencies, doing all the paperwork and even tracing the identity of the consignee of the said drugs concealed in wafer tin cans.

Now can we blame President Duterte for making pronouncements that drug pushers be denied  the cure for COVID-19 once it becomes available?

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Jokjok (from Jennifer Mariano of Humildad St., Pasay City)--- Pedro: Pare, galing ako sa doktor, nakabili na ako ng hearing aid. Grabe, ang linaw na ng pandinig ko!/Juan: Talaga?! Buti naman. Ang gulo mo kausap eh.  Magkano ang bili mo?/Pedro: Kahapon lang, pare.

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