If the recent pronouncement by the government of the “largest drug haul in the history of the country” is any
indication then drug syndicates peddling the illegal drug ‘shabu’ must surely be making a comeback and are now attempting to once again flood the streets with their illegal product. Nevertheless before delving further into the
ramifications and implication of the claimed largest drug bust in the country’s history it is only proper to acknowledge and give praise as well as credit to those in the Philippine National Police (PNP) who successfully intercepted the said illegal drugs.

It can be recalled that in April 15 information was received by the municipal police chief, Captain Luis de Luna Jr. of Alitagtag town in Batangas province about a passenger van going to Lipa City and which came from Sta. Teresita town of the same province. The news report did not elaborate on the content of the information received by police
chief De Luna but it was enough for him and his team to set up a check-point in Alitagtag town. They eventually flagged down a silver Foton passenger van with plate number CBM-5060 driven by one Alajon Michael Zarate, for inspection.

According to the police report Captain De Luna and his men became suspicious after Zarate failed to show a driver’s
license and allegedly became uneasy and uncomfortable when questioned about his lack of a driver’s license. Further on the policemen observed “objects partially covered with a woven sack in the van” and upon further inspection discovered large plastic sachets containing crystalline substances later determined to be ‘shabu’ with a verified weight of 1.4 tons with an estimated street value of P 9.68 billion. Congratulations are in order for Captain De Luna and his men for the successful drug interception.

Secretary Benjamin Abalos of the Department of Interior and Local government (DILG) even gave a spot promotion to Captain De Luna for such an accomplishment by promoting him to the rank of major. Following this drug
bust and just a few days later the Bureau of Customs (BOC) also intercepted a package containing 32 kilograms of
‘shabu’ with an estimated street value of P218 million that was secreted in a “machinery muffler” shipment that
originated in Zimbabwe. The shabu was intercepted and seized by the BOC at a warehouse in Pasay City.

The implication as well as ramification of these drug interceptions by the government point to a troubling trend, and that is that drug syndicates both local and international are again attempting to exert and expand their drug operations in the country. In fact they have become so emboldened that even with the constant vigilance of the police and other anti-drug enforcement agencies such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to thwart their
nefarious activities, these drug syndicates continue to operate with impunity.

And even during the time and administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, when his war on drugs extinguished so many lives, these drug syndicates simply laid low and stayed below the radar biding their time when it was again safe for them to resume their illegal operations. It is not actually their fear of being killed for selling drugs that made them cool their heels during the previous administration but it is actually the heat generated from all the focused and constant attention directed at them by the government during the oplan tokhang as well as oplan double barrel implemented by the former administration of President Duterte.

Now that the administration of President Marcos is taking a different approach in the campaign against illegal drugs these drug syndicates are starting to think that they can again do as they please. Hence, the 1.4 tons of shabu intercepted by the police in Batangas and the BOC seizure of 32 kilograms of shabu inside a warehouse in Pasay City.
Perhaps the government can do more to thwart these drug syndicates from spreading their tentacles by, for instance adopting the method of former president Duterte of identifying in public those who act as protectors of these drug syndicates as well as identifying and informing the public about these drug syndicates who their bosses are and the areas or regions in the country where they continue to operate.

By exposing them to the public eye they are stripped of their anonymity and privacy which to be sure they protect
fanatically. Their protectors should receive the same treatment and if possible, after validation of course, publicly
named by the government so that the people will know who among their public servants have betrayed their oath and sold their soul to these drug syndicates. To be sure there is no easy way to go about it but as the mafia has occasion to say “it is what it is”. We are reminded of the quote, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Amianan Balita Ngayon