Coming soon: Stricter laws vs illegal drugs?

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2014 04:39 PM | Updated as of Jan 17 2014 05:53 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said the government continues to intensify its fight against illegal drugs, adding that it is open to lawmakers' proposals for stricter laws against illegal drugs.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma won't comment though on a proposal to impose death penalty for drug cases, saying it has not been discussed with the President.

"Bukas po tayo sa pagpapanukala ng mga mambabatas ng mas mahigpit na mga hakbang na maaaring makapigil doon sa mga drug trafficking activities. Iyon pong PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) at iyon pong law enforcement agencies ay meron pong malinaw na direksyon na tinatahak at iyon po ay iyong all-out campaign against drug trafficking in the country," Coloma said.

At least two international drug rings have been found to be already operating in the Philippines -- Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel and the Vancouver-based Independent Soldiers.

On Wednesday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) discovered drug laboratories in several condominiums in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Makati City in simultaneous raids Wednesday.

Atty. Ruel Lasala, NBI deputy director for investigative services and head of the bureau's anti-illegal drugs task force, said two Canadian citizens were arrested in The Luxe Residences located at the corner of 28th Street and 4th Avenue of BGC.

The NBI discovered about P100 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), cocaine, and "ecstasy" inside Unit 301 of The Luxe Residences which was being rented by a certain Barry Espadilla and James Riach.

The NBI said separate operations, sanctioned by a search warrant issued by the Makati Regional Trial Court, were also conducted in two condominium units in Serendra and another two in Makati.

The amount of drugs discovered in The Luxe Residences was the biggest among the five areas raided by the NBI.