Catanduanes gov disowns 'mega shabu lab,' implicates NBI exec

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2016 04:26 PM

MANILA - Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua on Wednesday vehemently denied any connection to a recently busted "mega shabu laboratory" in Virac town, linking instead a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official to the facility that can produce hundreds of kilos of methamphetamine daily.

In a press conference, Cua said the lab, which is the biggest discovered in the country so far, sits on a land that belongs to a certain Sarah Sarmiento and leased by Angelica Balmadrid, the common-law wife of NBI Region 7 director, Atty. Eric Isidro.

Cua added that data gathered by his team shows that the mega shabu lab was constructed in 2015 under a different administration.

A Chinese national named Jason Gonzales Uy and three other unidentified Chinese men operated the laboratory in the guise of a plastic recycling warehouse, the governor added.

The four Chinese were allegedly tipped off by NBI agents or local police of the a day before the raid of the laboratory last November 26.

Cua went on to deny allegations that he dabbles with illicit drugs through his shipping business.

He surmised that his political detractors are responsible for dragging his name into the narcotics trade.

Insisting that he never had drug ties in his years of public service, he added that he is open to any investigation.

He said he has asked the Department of Justice to immediately start finding leads and uncover the mastermind behind the mega shabu lab.

Cua said Isidro is now being investigated.

Cua's name was brought up by Senator Trillanes at a Senate inquiry on Monday, where he accused the Duterte administration of taking no action against drug bigwigs.

"May nahuli, just recently na pinakamalaking shabu factory sa Catanduanes. Kaya nga dina-doubt ko rin iyong sincerity nitong drug war na ito dahil iyong malalaking drug lords na pinapangalanan hanggang ngayon ay untouched. Hindi ginagalaw, hindi iniimbestigahan," Trillanes said.

"So, may nahuli diyan, under the care ito ni Gov. Cua at Virac Mayor Laynes. Sila iyong nagsu-supply. Grabe ang supply nila. Hindi nga na-me-mention, even ni President Duterte."