By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Commander Ludovico Librilla Jr., head of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Oriental, stressed the importance of coordination among law enforcement agencies following the confiscation of P6.8 million worth of suspected shabu in Sibulan port last Monday.
Librilla said the operation was successful because of the coordination of concerned agencies and responsible sharing of information.
“It is important to establish good relationship with other units so that there will be smooth conduct of the operation and quick assistance,” he added.
On August 19, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Negros Oriental in coordination with PCG and Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (Norppo) seized a kilo of suspected shabu from four persons.
The suspects drove a car which boarded a roll on-roll off (RORO) ship bound for Dumaguete City from Cebu.
PDEA-Negros Oriental head Grace Cruz said the operation was conducted after they received information about the delivery of contrabands in the province from two men on board a car.
The shabu was believed to be distributed in Dumaguete City.
Cruz said the subject of the operation were Tim Bernard Las Piñas, 25, of Dumaguete City; and Ellery Jude Alabanzas, 23, of Canlaon City.
Their companions – Lehsa Taganile, 23, of Dumaguete City; and Kathleen Caryl Tulabing, 23, of Sibulan town – were also arrested but they claimed that they only hitched a ride with the two male suspects, Cruz said.
Authorities found the suspected shabu wrapped in plastic inside the bag of one of the two male suspects after Coast Guard personnel conducted random inspection of the cargo deck area of the vessel.
All four suspects denied the allegations against them, claiming they did not know where the drugs came from.
When asked about the source of the drugs, Cruz refused to divulge it as they continue to investigate its origins.
Cruz said all four suspects will be charged for violation of Sections 5 and 11 of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for the alleged delivery and illegal possession of dangerous drugs.
The suspects are detained at the PDEA office in Dumaguete City.
Meanwhile, the PCG will strengthen their monitoring and will deploy more K9 dogs to prevent the entry of the contraband after the big seizure of illegal drugs at the port, Librilla said.