A SUSPECTED shabu manufacturing syndicate believed being financed by foreign nationals and protected by a group of rogue local policemen was smashed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during an anti-narcotics operation inside Subic Bay in Olongapo City yesterday, a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas said.
Arrested during the raid at no. 366-B Finback West Kalayaan in SBMA, Olongapo City were ‘high-value target’ Jerico Dabu and four members of the Olongapo City Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit identified as Lieutenant Reynato Basa Jr. and Corporals Gino dela Cruz, Edesyr Victor Alipio and Godfrey Parentela, said PNP-CIDG director, Major Gen. Joel Napoleon M. Coronel.
Coronel said Dabu and the four Olongapo City policemen who were tagged as his ‘protectors and escorts’ were arrested during a buy-bust which also led to the dismantling of a small clandestine illegal drug laboratory 12:30 a.m. yesterday.
Recovered during the operation were around 1.3 kilos of shabu worth more than P7 million and the buy-bust money, four Glock 17 caliber 9mm semi-automatic pistols, five mobile phones and a Honda Civic with plate no. UKM-779.
Also recovered inside the suspected shabu lab were laboratory equipment and chemicals reportedly being used to process the drugs prior to their distribution in the underground market.
Members of the CIDG National Capital Region Field Office headed by Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio spearheaded the operation with the assistance of the CIDG Zambales Provincial Office, PNP Maritime Group, PNP Drug Enforcement Group, PNP Intelligence Group, PDEA Regional Office 3 and NCR Office and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Law Enforcement Division.
Silvio said Dabu has been identified as a member of a Subic Bay-based syndicate composed of Australian, American, Canadian, Chinese and European nationals as well as their Filipino contacts believed involved in the illicit production of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ being distributed in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
The official said following their implementation of Coplan ‘Iceberg 01-21,’ they received information that the group is capable of producing three to four kilos of shabu every day, their raw materials being smuggled into the country after being mixed with legal shipments to evade the attention of Customs authorities.
“The group has been categorized as an Organized Crime Group considering that they have unlimited financial resources and contact persons and being protected by rogue law enforcement agents,” Silvio said.
The PDEA headed by Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva has taken cognizance of the case.
Villanueva said a Canadian national named Timoty Hartley is being hunted in connection with the clandestine lab raid. The Canadian was identified as a shabu ‘cook.’
The PDEA chief said the secret drug facility was discovered when Dabu ran inside the house while about to be arrested during the buy-bust. Officers who followed him were surprised to discover the shabu lab.
The four policemen were arrested near the place where they were apparently serving as ‘lookouts’ while helping the syndicate dispose the drugs.
“This type of laboratory is common in western countries, where syndicates use improvised equipment and available chemicals in the market,” he said.
The suspects will be facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Sinas also ordered the filing of administrative charges for grave misconduct against the four arrested policemen.
He ordered PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management, Major Gen. Marni C. Marcos Jr. and PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management, Maj. Gen. Israel Ephraim T. Dickson respectively to supervise the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the accused policemen.
The PNP chief also ordered all members of the Olongapo City Police Office to be immediately subjected to a mandatory drug test, starting with all members of their anti-narcotics unit.
Sinas instructed Police Regional Office 3 director, Brigadier Gen. Valeriano T. de Leon to relieve the arrested policemen from their assignment and recall all their issued firearms prior to their assignment to the Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit.
“I want these rogue policemen dismissed immediately from the police force,” he said. with ALFRED DALIZON