Drug cooks more valuable than drug lords - PDEA chief

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2019 09:56 AM | Updated as of Sep 20 2019 11:02 AM

MANILA – They work behind the scenes, but their role in the illegal drug trade is invaluable.

Cooks, like the infamous Walter White in the hit TV series Breaking Bad, command higher ransom value when they are caught by cops, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino said Friday. 

“Iyung mga tinatawag nilang mga drug chemists ng mga international drug syndicates, kapag nahuhuli noon iyan, ang worth ng chemist is worth P70 million,” Aquino told dzMM.

“They are considered gold dahil sila ang nagluluto ng shabu. Sila ang nakakaalam paano lutuin iyon, paano maging high quality ang pagluluto.”

(The drug chemists of international drug syndicates, whenever they caught, their worth is P70 million. They are considered gold because they are the ones who have knowledge how to produce high-quality shabu.)

Aquino made this revelation after former Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong said errant cops recycled illegal drugs confiscated during raids and kidnapped Chinese drug lords in exchange for as much as P50 million pesos.

Magalong also backed claims that high-profile drug convicts still conduct operations from inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Aquino had earlier expressed frustration over the role of so-called ninja cops in the continued proliferation of illegal drugs in the country despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s relentless drug war.

The alleged anomalies inside Bilibid was uncovered as the Senate probed the grant of good conduct time allowance to inmates at the national penitentiary.

The probe revealed certain heinous crime convicts benefited from the system even if they were supposedly disqualified under the law.

Senators and witnesses also alleged that Bilibid hospital doctors allowed drug convicts to conduct their operations from inside the medical facility. Bilibid hospital officials denied this allegation.