MANILA - A lawmaker on Thursday said the reimposition of death penalty will be a strong deterrent to the problem of drug smuggling in the country.
"With all due respect sa mga ayaw sa death penalty, unfortunately there is no other way to deter itong mga sindikato sa pagpasok dito," Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert "Ace" Barbers told DZMM.
Barbers said they are currently studying amendments to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
"Kung maaari nga itinutulak namin dito 'yung pagbabalik ng death penalty dito sa drug smuggling, drug importation and all drug-related crimes," Barbers said.
On Wednesday, authorities seized some P2.5 billion worth of suspected shabu from the Chinese caretaker of a warehouse in Makati City.
The suspect sold drugs to operatives and tried to evade arrest by running into the warehouse in Barangay San Antonio, where authorities eventually found some 371 kilos of drugs concealed in dog food packaging, police said.
A separate police operation also resulted in arrest of the suspect's 2 alleged couriers in Las Piñas City where they were able to confiscate some 17 kilos of shabu in tea bags.
The lawmaker said members of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs believe there should be a stern warning that would instill fear among drug syndicates.
"Tatawanan lang tayo niyan. Ang nasa isip nila kaya namin i-corrupt 'yung inyong pulis, law enforcers hindi naman kami mahuhuli...'yun ang nakakalungkot," he lamented.
He said that while it is alarming to know that the huge haul was found in the Makati apartment, he believes the supply came from abroad, particularly from the Golden Triangle syndicate in Cambodia.
"Ang kanilang paniwala, merong tinatawag na ship site smuggling...ito po ay sinasalubong na sa laot, may pinagbabagsakan po ito somewhere in the ocean, ito'y sinasalubong dito pinapasok dito sa atin. 'Yung iba posibleng dumadaan pa rin sa port," explained Barbers.
Based on intelligence reports forwarded to them, Barbers said the syndicate arrested on Wednesday apparently was able to smuggle 4,000 kilos of drugs into the country this year.
"Kaya kailangang mabantayan. Nakuha na natin 370 kilos kahapon sa Makati, sa Las Piñas another 200 kilos...so 500 kilos napakaliit pa rin. Napakarami pa ring nakakalat, marami pa ring nakatago d'yan," he said.