ALL-OUT efforts are being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to identify and arrest the suppliers of so-called ‘party drugs’ in the country specifically Ecstasy and Kush, a high-grade marijuana derivative, PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas told People’s Tonight.
“Ecstasy, marijuana and kush or high-grade marijuana have been proliferating in the market and we are warning those who engage in this illegal trade. We know how resourceful you have been but we are relentless in our pursuit, even of so-called recreational users,” the top cop said.
According to the PNP chief, members of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee have intercepted and arrested individuals involved in the transport, sale and distribution of these ‘party drugs’ from the United States and The Netherlands.
“These are smuggled from abroad. Based on our coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), there is no manufacturing of Ecstasy in the country. Kaya tinututukan namin ang mga involved sa pag-smuggle at pagpapakalat nito. Talagang masigasig ang PDEG dito,” Sinas said.
The PNP chief also cited the major role being played by the Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport led by the PDEA and the PNP-DEG in foiling illegal drug activities at the country’s main gateway.
“We have fielded additional K-9 teams in our airports kaya me mga positive interceptions,” he said.
Since the year started, PNP-DEG and PDEA agents under Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva have seized over 3,000 pieces of Ecstasy pills.
“The crackdown on illegal drugs target shabu, marijuana and so-called party drugs like Ecstacy. the PNP is fully aware of how resourceful these narco-syndicates have become, but make no mistake. We will go after you,” the PNP chief warned.
The other Friday, a shipment of 535 Ecstasy tablets confiscated by the Bureau of Customs was turned over to the NAIA-IADITG.
Lee said the P1 million worth of party drugs concealed in an air parcel was detected by BoC personnel assigned at the Central Mail Exchange Center following a thorough examination of the goods declared as ‘documents’ from The Netherlands.
A subsequent laboratory test conducted by the PDEA confirmed the tablets as methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or Ecstasy, a popular synthetic party drug, the PNP-DEG director said.
The seized contraband was further turned over to the PDEA for further investigation and possible prosecution of individuals involved in the illegal importation for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Section 1401 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Two weeks ago, PNP-DEG agents led an anti-narcotics operation in Cainta, Rizal which resulted in the discovery of a small ‘kitchen-type’ drug laboratory being used to produce adulterated shabu and the seizure of more than P10 million worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ and Ecstasy.
Arrested during the sting was a 30-year-old curriculum developer named Khrystin Pimentel, a resident of 163 Diamond Street, Doña Luisa Village in Ecoland, Davao City .
Recovered from the suspect during the sting at Unit C 9029 Kabisig Street, Block 1 in Floodway, Bgy. San Andres in Cainta around 3 p.m. Thursday were 2,000 Ecstasy tablets valued at P3.4 million, 10 small plastic packets containing around 500 grams of Kush, a high-grade marijuana derivative worth P60,000 and at least a kilo of shabu worth P6.8 million.
The PNP-DEG director said a follow-up operation in Ermita, Manila around at 12:20 a.m. Friday ended up in a shootout which led to the killing of another main target identified only as alias ‘Kuya.’ Another target identified as Ish Aguilar is still being hunted.
Recovered during the Ermita sting were Ecstasy 800 tablets worth P1.360 million, two heat-sealed plastic sachets containing an estimated 50 grams of shabu valued at P340,000, a chamber-loaded caliber .45 pistol with a magazine containing several live ammunition and the boodle money topped by some marked bills.
Another recent controlled delivery operation in Lipa City in Batangas also led to the arrest of two men including John Hernandez, a local vape shop owner and the confiscation of P600,000 worth of Kush from the U.S.
Combined operatives of the PDEA and the PNP-DEG, with the assistance of officers from the PNP Aviation Security Group, Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation launched the controlled delivery operation inside Hernandez’ Vape Habit shop.
The sting resulted to the seizure of 500 drugs of Kush worth P600,000, three mobile phones, several identification cards and a signature record from the courier service company which cooperated with the agents in the conduct of the anti-narcotics operation.
Controlled delivery is a technique used when a consignment of illicit drugs is detected and allowed to go forward under the control and surveillance of law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence against the organizers of such illicit drug traffic.