ANTI-TRAFFICKING. CIAC’s Victor Jose Luciano (4th from right) leads signing of the interagency MOA against illegal drugs and human trafficking.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CIAC-CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
CLARK FREEPORT – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said here various law enforcement agencies have seized some P1.1 billion worth of illegal drugs in operations in local and international airports nationwide from 2003 to August this year.
This, as PDEA Deputy Director General Abe Lemos stressed his agency’s “thrust to establish a drug interdiction task group in all airports catering to local and international flights” throughout the country.
Lemos was here to represent PDEA chief Arturo Cacdac in the signing of an agreement creating the Clark International Airport Inter- Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (CRK-IADITG) and Clark International Airport Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (CRK-IACAT) to prevent illegal drugs and human trafficking at the airport in this freeport.
It was the second such agreement to be signed by PDEA with a local airport, after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Robert Cash, country attache of the US Drug Enforcement Administration based in Manila, witnessed the signing.
Lemos reported that since 2003, “joint efforts of law enforcers” have yielded illegal drugs worth P1, 102, 319, 633.
These included 138,172.56 grams of shabu worth P1,008,785; 14, 890.91 grams of cocaine worth P71,052,025; 1.8 liters of liquid cocaine worth P9,835,579.87; 10,438 pieces of Ecstasy worth P12,532,475 and; 29.90 grams of “fly-high” drugs worth P113, 638.72.
Lemos stressed the value of airport interdiction trainings in the government’s drive against illegal drugs, as he hailed the agreements signed by PDEA and the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) here. “We aim to replicate this in all airports with local and international flights,” he said following the holding of airport interdiction trainings in the airport in this freeport.
He said the training was designed to “further enhance the competencies and skills of the members of the task force in preventing and deterring attempts to smuggle in illegal drugs into the country, apprehending drug traffickers and confiscating smuggled illegal drugs as well as controlled precursors and essential chemicals or CPECS.”
Lemos also revealed many drug syndicates now conceal illegal drugs in “television and radio sets, speakers or other objects like high heeled slippers and sandals wrapped in packages, and transported through couriers services.”
“However, through the close coordination and collaboration among drug interdiction task groups of PDEA and other law enforcement counterparts, we were able to foil the drug transport. Hence, the illegal drugs were intercepted and drug traffickers were arrested,” he noted.
CIAC President-CEO Victor Jose Luciano said the signing of the agreement with PDEA was “a momentous event as we are the second airport after NAIA to create a task force to prevent illegal drugs and human trafficking at Clark Airport.”