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PNP cracks down on party drugs

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Debold M. Sinas yesterday ordered operations to identify and arrest the main suppliers and smugglers of the party drug called Ecstasy in the country in the wake of the series of PNP and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operations which so far have resulted in the seizure of over 3,000 pieces of the banned substance.

“The crackdown on illegal drugs target shabu, marijuana and so-called party drugs like Ecstasy. 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.

On Friday, a shipment of 535 Ecstasy tablets confiscated by the Bureau of Customs was turned over to the NAIA-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG), said PNP Drug Enforcement Group director Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee.

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, the popular synthetic party drug, the PNP-DEG director said.

The seized contraband was then turned over to the PDEA headed by Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva 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.

On Thursday afternoon, PNP-DEG agents led an anti-narcotics operation in Cainta, Rizal which uncovered a small “kitchen-type” drug laboratory being used to produce adulterated shabu while more than P10 million worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ and Ecstasy was seized.

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, Barangay San Andres in Cainta around 3 p.m. Thursday were 2,000 pieces of suspected 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 that a follow-up operation in Ermita, Manila around 12:20 a.m. Friday ended up in a shootout which killed another main target identified only as alias “Kuya.” Another target identified as Ish Aguilar is still being hunted.

Recovered during the Ermita sting were 800 tablets of the designer drug called ‘Ecstasy’ worth P1.360 million, two heat-sealed plastic sachets containing an estimated 50 grams of shau 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.