Senator wants note verbale to Beijing
MANILA - Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday said the government should "pressure" Beijing to crack down on syndicates that export narcotics to the Philippines.
"Talagang i-pressure natin. Kung talagang kaibigan namin kayo, diyan pa lang sa inyo dapat hinaharang niyo na at dapat nag-uusap tayo na ang daming pumapasok dito," he said in an interview with radio DZMM.
(We should pressure them. If you are really our friend, you should block smuggled drugs from your end. We should talk about the huge bulk of drugs entering our country.)
Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, is leading an inquiry into a P6.4-billion shipment of shabu from China that slipped past Customs inspections last May.
He said he has asked Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III to urge the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to write Beijing and demand a stop to its drug smuggling activities.
Last year, Gordon also asked the DFA to send a note verbale to China after a Senate inquiry established that Chinese syndicates are behind two-thirds of the smuggled drug supply in the Philippines.
Law enforcers, he added, should track down big-time drug suppliers like those behind the 600-kilogram shabu shipment from China, instead of conducting bloody operations against street-level pushers.
"Kakarampot lang [na droga], napapatay na iyung mga drug pusher. Napapanood ko sa telebisyon, maliliit na gramo. E ito, kalahating tonelada ng bus ang inilabas," he said.
(Drug pushers get killed over a small amount of narcotics. News reports say they typically carry only several grams of drugs. This drug shipment, on the other hand, weighs about half a ton. )
"Kung may mahuhuli kang pusher sa baba, hindi pa puwedeng gawin ng pulis na 'Sinong nag-supply sa iyo?' Kung may mahuli mo iyung nagsu-supply, 'Sinong nagsu-supply sa iyo.' Sundan mo pataas, pabalik. Bakit ba walang ganoon?"
(Once drug suspects are arrested, can't policemen ask them about their suppliers? If the suppliers get arrested, ask them too, 'Who is your supplier?' Follow the drug trail upwards, back to its main source. Why are we not doing that?)
He also called for a reorganization of the BOC, which he said is now divided into 2 camps: one comprised of "organic" personnel and the other made up of former soldiers and coup plotters.
"Hati ang Customs ngayon e, may Magdalo faction, mayroon ding tinatawag na organic. Kuhanin mo yung mga magagaling, iwanan mo doon; alisin mo na iyung mga masasama. Baka sakaling ang-succeed pa tayo," he said.