In the ongoing “bloodless” anti-drug campaign of Marcos administration, an astounding 4.4 tons of shabu, valued at P30 billion, have been confiscated since the start of his six-year term on July 1 of the previous year, a leader of the House of Representatives said on Monday.
This revelation came from House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Chairman Rep. Ace Barbers during the commencement of hearings on House Resolution (HR) 1346 and 1351, authored by Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. and Rep. Jefferson Khonghun, respectively.
Barbers said that from July 1, 2022, the first day of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s tenure, to the present day, this “bloodless” anti-drug campaign has led to the seizure of nearly 4.4 tons of shabu and almost 3 tons of dried marijuana leaves.
“The estimated street value of these confiscated narcotics is a staggering P30 billion, sufficient to fund the election campaigns, including presidential campaigns, of drug lords,” said Barbers.
Barbers explained that this amount could unquestionably finance election campaigns, including presidential ones, with ease.
“This amount can most definitely finance the elections and victory of drug lords in our political arena. Even if it’s a presidential campaign, that war chest can finance it,” Barber explained.
Present at the hearing were representatives from key law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Customs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA), and the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG).
“I would like to extend my heartfelt felicitations to our law enforcement agencies, the PDEA, NBI, PDEG, and the Bureau of Customs, for a very very fruitful campaign against illegal drugs under the administration of President BBM,” Barbers said during his opening statement.
“Fortunately, we still have many dedicated personnel within our law enforcement units who are safeguarding our peace. While a few may stray from the path, let us not waver in our commitment to prevent their success,” he said.
Among the 4.4 tons of seized drugs, a significant portion was intercepted in recent weeks: 200 kilos in Mabalacat, Pampanga, on August 25; 560 kilos from the Subic port, destined for Mexico, Pampanga, on September 24; and the most recent, 323 kilos seized on October 4 at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
“In just five weeks, we’ve already seized 1.3 tons. This is only the first half-year of President BBM’s administration,” Barbers emphasized.
Barbers also called for collective action, saying, “Let’s collaborate. We will adopt a holistic approach to this issue. We will assist our agencies with whatever they need, with the promise that they will remain resolute in fulfilling their mandates.”
For his part, Gonzales, the proponent of one of the resolutions under consideration, expressed deep concern about the use of areas in Pampanga for smuggling illegal drugs.
“It is disheartening and alarming that the formerly peaceful towns of Mexico and the city of Mabalacat have been tainted by this kind of controversy. For the information of all, the municipality of Mexico, which is under my jurisdiction, is a booming economy in Central Luzon,” Gonzales said.
“The good people of Mexico worked hard to achieve where they are now. And I will not let these incidents hinder future investments and other economic opportunities. We will get to the bottom of this problem, and all the people involved will have their day in court,” he declared.
Both Barbers and Gonzales pledged to reveal the identities and organizations responsible for the illegal drug shipments into the country.
“We will thresh out the whys and hows our country continues to be the favorite destination of illegal drugs and who are the big personalities or even bigger entities behind these shipments to flood us with these contrabands with fictitious and non-existent consignees,” Barbers said.
Gonzales declared, “We will dig deeper and uncover the mystery behind this smuggling because I believe that there are personalities who knowingly facilitated this shipment. The smugglers wreaking havoc on our country are audacious and fearless.”