MANILA - Officials said operatives have seized probably the largest drug haul in the country during a series of operations from Saturday afternoon until before dawn Sunday in Metro Manila.
"This afternoon will be historic in our country. This is probably the biggest drug haul in the history of the Philippines... Halos isang toneladang droga (o) 990 kilograms of shabu, at about P6.7 billion pesos," Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said in a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Sunday afternoon.
Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, director of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), said the first buy-bust operation was conducted around 4:45 p.m. of Saturday in Tondo.
It resulted in the apprehension of a certain Ney Saligumba Atadero, 50, a resident of Ermita, Manila, and the discovery of 890 kilos and 102 grams worth P6.7 billion.
A follow-up operation led later to the apprehension of M/Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo, Jr. of the PDEG, said Domingo. He was caught allegedly in possession of two kilos of suspected shabu worth P13.6 million.
"Sabi ko nga noon, there will be no let up. We don't care who gets caught and who gets hurt. For as long as we get all the evidence against any suspect in any crime, we will pursue them until the end," PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. said when asked to comment about the involvement of a police personnel.
"We expect yung pagkakahuli ng ating pulis, na kasamahan pa sa PDEG, ay napakalaking breakthrough para sa inyong kapulisan, na ito ay isang halimbawa na we don't tolerate and will not tolerate any wrongdoing of any policeman under my watch, and of course under the watch of our DILG Secretary," he added.
The subsequent operation was conducted around 2:30 a.m. at the vicinity of the Quezon Bridge in Quiapo area.
Another suspected cohort of the group identified as Juden Francisco was also nabbed in Rosario, Pasig, said Domingo.
Abalos said the operations were conducted in line with the campaign of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. against illegal drugs.
"Ang kaniyang instruction sa PNP, DILG, importante (na) makuha talaga yung mga malalaking ganito," said Abalos.
More details to follow