(Photo courtesy of BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will ask the local court to expedite the issuance of an order for the immediate destruction of 990 kilos of shabu with an estimated street value of PHP6.7 billion that was seized in Manila over the weekend.

“We shall seek the permission of the Court for the immediate destruction of these confiscated 990.1 kilograms of Shabu after the required laboratory examination and technical inventory in accord with PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and DDB (Dangerous Drugs Board) standard procedures,” PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. told reporters during a press briefing in Camp Crame on Monday.

Nearly one ton of shabu was seized in an operation by the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) which resulted in the arrest of two suspects, including a police officer.

This is so far the biggest accomplishment of law enforcers in the country's anti-drug campaign.

“But more than the amount of drugs confiscated, the important thing is we have taken off the streets millions of dosage units of toxic chemicals in this shabu concoction that could have destroyed so many young and productive Filipino lives,” Azurin said.

He added that nobody was hurt during the "classic, by the book" police operation.

The arrested police personnel was identified as Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr., a member of the PDEG. He will face administrative cases, which could lead to his dismissal from service.

Mayo was arrested in a follow-up operation that stemmed from the arrest of a certain Ney Atadero in Tondo, Manila on Oct. 8.

Initial reports revealed that the arrested law enforcer was a co-conspirator in the illegal sale of dangerous drugs. These pieces of evidence were found inside a lending office in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

“We assure that justice will spring from this case. The suspect will be afforded due process while appropriate administrative and criminal charges will be pressed against him. His arrest speaks of the in-depth probe that the PNP has been engaged with for every police operation,” Azurin said in a separate statement.

“We are hitting hard on the sources of these dangerous contraband to disrupt or break the supply chain. At the same time, we are pursuing the demand reduction strategy with renewed vigor by promoting drug abuse awareness prevention and resistance education, including the DILG’s (Department of the Interior and Local Government) very own BIDA (Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan) program, among the vulnerable sectors of society,” he added.

The Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) also joined the operation.

“We want to thank PDEG for leading the operation. It would not be possible without the help of many other agencies, including the BOC and PDEA, but PDEG deserves the credit for acting upon the information they got, investigating the area and the suspect, and coordinating with all of us for the success of this operation,” Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said in a statement.

Ruiz added that this proves that government agencies continue to work together to crack down against illegal drug personalities.

“Sometimes, in as big as an operation as this, it takes a lot to keep it under wraps and ensure no one would get wind of the plan. This is why coordination among different government agencies must be top-notch. We need to ensure we can trust and work with one another,” he said.

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said that the PNP arrested 12,578 drug personalities in various anti-illegal drug operations and confiscated illegal drugs with an estimated worth of over PHP1.8 billion since July 1.

Among the notable accomplishments of the PNP against illegal drugs, he added, were the PHP480 million worth of shabu seized in Pampanga in July and the PHP173 million worth of shabu confiscated in Quezon City.

Abalos said over 24,000 barangays have been declared drug-free since 2016 due to the hard work and dedication of the police organization and its incessant implementation of anti-illegal drug measures.

He likewise said that 11,000 barangays remain afflicted by illegal drug use. (PNA)