CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (3rd District-Pampanga) has called on the House of Representatives to investigate the recent seizures of illegal drugs in the province.
“We are saddened and alarmed by this turn of events in our beloved province, one of the growth centers in Central Luzon. Pampanga is not known as the home ground of drug traffickers, but the latest drug confiscations are giving it a bad image. If this is an incipient problem in our area, let us nip it in the bud,” Gonzales said in a press statement.
He said he would file a resolution today, if House offices are open, or at the latest on Monday to formally propose the inquiry.
Gonzales sought the investigation in aid of legislation a day after Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla disclosed that 530 kilos of shabu with a street value of P3.6 billion were seized from a warehouse in Mexico by joint operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Customs, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, under the guidance of Remulla himself.
The illegal drugs entered the country through the Subic Freeport and those behind the shipment, including some foreigners, were still being pursued, Remulla said.
Gonzales noted that the drug seizure in Mexico is the latest in a series of drug confiscations in Pampanga.
In the latter part of August, police recovered 200 kilos of shabu in an abandoned vehicle at the parking lot of a supermarket in Barangay Mabiga, Mabalacat City.
“The estimated street value of the contraband is staggering: P3.6 billion for the seized shabu in Mexico and P1.3 billion for the Mabalacat shabu,” said Gonzales.
He added that he and other lawmakers would be interested to find those responsible for the drug shipments, how these entered the country, and where the substances were being distributed.
The lawmaker said the recent confiscations highlight the gravity of the illegal drug problem in the country. He commended law enforcement agencies involved in seizing shabu in Mexico, Mabalacat and other areas, including the interception of shabu worth more than P400 million along the North Luzon Expressway in Pampanga in the middle of 2022.
Gonzales urged these agencies and local and barangay officials to strengthen and heighten their surveillance and monitoring of drug traffickers and other lawless elements in their areas.
“The drug problem and other illegal activities are a concern of both the national government and local government units,” he said. He also called for the revocation of business permits of Subic Freeport locators involved in the entry of contraband and the warehouses and other business establishments where the shipments were hidden and seize. Punto News Team