Gordon presses probe on 890-kg shabu seized in December

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2017 08:31 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2017 09:24 PM

Sen. Richard Gordon leads the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's inquiry into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment intercepted by authorities in May. At the hearing, Gordon also called for an investigation into the 890-kg shabu haul seized in San Juan City in December. George Calvelo. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Tuesday called for an investigation into the shipment of 890 kilograms of shabu seized in December after it slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the incident, which involves a shipment even bigger than the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of shabu through the Manila port in May, which has triggered separate inquiries in both houses of Congress. 

"The NBI should exert all efforts— and I will not close this investigation, I cannot submit a preliminary report —and I will investigate the source of the 890 kilos even with your staff here and find out who are the personalities behind that 890 kilos," Gordon said on Tuesday's hearing. 

The May incident, which involves the shipment of 600 kilos of shabu from China, has exposed deeply entrenched corruption at the BOC. 

"Hahanapin natin lahat kung sinong nagpapasok niyan, kung sinong tao dun sa Customs, dahil habang may ganung tao sa Customs, uulit-ulitin yan," he added.

Gordon said the campaign against illegal drugs has been ineffective because government has failed to clamp down on the sources.

"This has been the bane. Kaya palpak… Kahit mapatay mo ang lahat ng pusher, kung hindi mo mapapatay 'yung source, meaning masasara mo 'yung gripo, papasok at papasok 'yan," he said.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in December discovered the illegal drugs estimated to be worth millions in a house allegedly being leased by Chinese nationals on Mangga Street, San Juan City.

During the hearing, NBI agent-in-charge Eduardo Ramos Jr. said 3 Chinese nationals and 7 Filipinos were arrested in the raid. Cases have been filed against the suspects before the San Juan Regional Trial Court.

But Ramos admitted that while investigators confirmed that the shipment passed through the BOC, they have yet to pinpoint who in the bureau let it pass.

With the investigation on the recent 600-kg shabu shipment, NBI Deputy Director for Investigation Services Vicente De Guzman said the bureau would now dig into records because "during the time of the raid, we did not have any documents found in the apartment, [where] the 890 kilos were stored."

"We will do a backtracking so that we will get some documents from the Bureau of Customs if they still have the documents," he said.