PNP: 164 kilos of cocaine recovered in February in Philippine waters

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2019 10:50 PM

MANILA - Around 164 kilos of cocaine have been recovered in February by authorities along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, police said.

This weekend, three incidents involcing “floating cocaine” were reported in Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Aurora.

On February 24 at around 6 a.m., two fishermen found a package wrapped in black plastic bag floating in the waters of Purok Santan, Barangay Bungtod, Tandag City in Surigao del Sur.

Caraga regional police director Chief Superintendent Gilbert Cruz said the fishermen immediately reported the incident.

“Dinala sa pampang. Noong makita na naka-bricks form ito, tumawag na sila ng pulis dahil nga sa naunang pronouncement namin na kapag may nakita silang mga packages na kulay itim o kulay brown ay itawag agad sa pulis dahil sinabi namin sa kanila na ang pagkuha niyan ay may kaukulang kaparusahan,” Cruz said.

Meanwhile, 36 blocks of cocaine were turned over by residents of Bgy. Santiago, Caraga, Davao Oriental.

Davao Oriental provincial police director Senior Superintendent Marcial Mariano Magistrado said the residents found the package while swimming.

“Yung residents doon habang naliligo sila sa dagat, napansin nila yung item, na suspected item, mga 11 yun ng umaga kahapon. Upon discovery inireport agad nila sa barangay kagawad nila, na nag-report sa pulis natin kaya nirespondehan ng pulis natin saka narecover ang mga items na iyon,” Magistrado said.

Around 1 p.m. of the same day, one block of suspected cocaine was found by a fisherman in Dingalan, Aurora, which he surrendered to authorities when he got home in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija.

Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija Police Chief Senior Insp. Sandy Bautista said the fisherman saw similar bricks on TV, which prompted him to turn the package in.

“Ang kuwento ng mangingisda, noong malapit na siya sa pampang, may nakita siyang palutang-lutang na kulay itim. Ang alam daw niya ma’am, baterya daw ng solar. Pagkakuha niya, inuwi niya sa Gabaldon. Noong nasa bahay na siya, na-curious siya, binuksan niya hindi niya alam kung ano yon. Na-recall niya, nakita raw niya sa TV, napanood niya last week yung na-recover, kamukha po noong bricks bricks na nakita sa TV kaya itinawag po sa amin,” Bautista said.

On February 25, three more cocaine blocks were found on Talisay beach, Purok Macopa, Brgy. Santiago, Caraga, Davao Oriental.

In total, 164 kilos of suspected cocaine with estimated worth of P871 million were recovered in 16 incidents along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines from February 10.

“Tinitingnan natin ang posibilidad na ito ay nanggaling sa mga international drug syndicates na nauna nang pinangalan na ang Sinaloa Drug Cartel, ang Golden Triangle syndicate at ang Chinese drug syndicate. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang ating pagkalap ng impormasyon nang sa gayon ay malaman natin kung sino sa grupo na ito ang may kagagawan ng pagbagsak ng mga hinihinalang cocaine dito sa karagatan natin sa eastern seaboard ng bansa,” Philippine National Police spokesperson Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said.

Authorities are also investigating why the cocaine bricks had different markings despite having similar packaging.

The PNP said the Philippines is likely being used as a cocaine transshipment point to other countries in Asia.

“Makakapagbigay sa atin ng mga indikasyon na ito ay galing talaga sa international drug cartel at maaaring transshipment point lamang ang ating bansa at meron talagang, patungo talaga ito sa merkado sa Asia,” Banac said.

The PNP reminded residents to immediately surrender blocks of cocaine or suspicious packages to authorities.