Lack of death penalty taken advantage of by foreign drug triads

December 03, 2019

CAPTURED drug lords and their distributors have confessed that they have been taking advantage of the lack  of death penalty in the country to continue their highly-profitable business prompting top law enforcement officials to air anew their support for the return of the capital punishment for major crimes specifically drug trafficking and importation.

Amid the seizure last week of nearly P3.5 billion worth of high-grade shabu from a Chinese national and his two Filipino couriers, top officials of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Board aired anew their strong support to the re-imposition of death penalty.

“Personally, I am in favor of death penalty for drug trafficking,” said DDB chairman, retired Police Gen. Catalino S.  Cuy. “Actually, drug lords say the fact that we don’t have death penalty in the country is an incentive to do business here,”Cuy said in the wake of the arrest of Chinese national Liu Chao by members of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) headed by Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr.

The suspect yielded some 370 kilograms of shabu in Makati City last week.

“This is not an official statement of the PDEA but at the end of the line, when everything is exhausted and the drug traffickers are serving time at the New Bilibid Prisons, they all have the time to enhance their illegal activities,” said PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration, Assistant Secretary Gregorio R. Pimentel who is also a retired PNP Director for Intelligence.

“Even small-time offenders who avail of plea-bargaining have a chance to reunite with drug lords inside our prisons.” Pimentel added.

PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa made the same pitch. “Of course, I’m in favor of death penalty since based on many suspects we have interviewed before, they’re doing this thing (big-time drug trafficking) because there’s no death penalty in the country,” he said.

Gamboa said President Duterte was airing the same position even when he was still the Davao City mayor. “We’re very thankful we have found allies in the Senate,” he said.

The three top officials congratulated the PNP-DEG for arresting Liu Chao during a buy-bust operation in Barangay San Antonio, Makati City which led in the confiscation of around 371 kilos of shabu.

A follow-up operation led in the arrest of two Filipino couriers in Las Piñas City identified as brothers Joel and Marvin Bustamante,  who yielded 17 sealed plastic packets each containing a kilo of shabu.

The seized drugs were believed to be worth nearly P2.7 billion. Last Saturday, a tip sent to PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan led to the recovery of another 67 kilos of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’  worth over P500 million inside the apartment being rented by one of the arrested Filipino drug couriers.

The PNP leadership has called for the imposition of death penalty on select cases involving illegal drugs and corruption saying that the certainty of punishment will be a “game changer” in the government’s campaign against the drug trade, corruption, and heinous crimes.

The PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency are partnering with their foreign counterparts to help arrest the presence of foreign drug triads which are believed to have transferred their operations in the country in the wake of a massive crackdown in China.

The Golden Triangle syndicate was discovered to be operating in the countries of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar after China mounted a major crackdown against clandestine drug laboratories in the mainland.

Tips provided to the PDEA and the Philippine National Police by their Chinese counterparts have resulted in a number of major drug busts over the past few years.

In September 2017,  an information was provided by the Office of the National Narcotics Control Commission (ONNCC), Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the  People’s Republic of China that the Dragon Wu Drug Syndicate which is connected with the Golden Triangle Syndicate will operate in the Philippines to establish shabu and ecstasy-producing laboratories.