April 19, 2024

There was complete transparency during the inventory of the multi-billion peso worth of illegal drugs seized by the police during an intelligence-driven checkpoint along a highway at Brgy. Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag, Batangas on Monday.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos said that the inventory was conducted in front of civilian witnesses and concerned authorities even as the entire process and procedure was recorded on video cameras.

Abalos issued the statement to dispel doubts about the legitimacy of the entire operation after some quarters and critics raised several questions following the mammoth drug haul.

“Ito (illegal drugs seizure) po ay nai-video tape. Kitang-kita po na from the time nahuli, nilagay na po sa kalye. Ito po ay naka-video at naka-tape, lahat, nandoon po ang mga testigo, open po ito sa media for scrutiny from day one,” he said.

Abalos, along with representatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police, was in Camp Crame on Thursday to provide updates on one of the biggest drug hauls in history.

During the press briefing, Abalos disclosed that after the final inventory, the total weight of illegal drugs seized stood at 1,424.253 kilograms.

The current market price of a kilogram of shabu is P6.8-million.

He emphasized that the initial figure released to the public was a face-value estimation made by experts from the PDEA during the presentation of the seized illegal drugs.

He said that the DILG, PNP, and other law enforcement agencies involved will ensure that all the confiscated illegal drugs will be destroyed in accordance with the law.

The DILG Chief likewise credited ‘heroes’ of the Alitagtag, Batangas, amid malicious insinuations following the release of the corrected estimation of confiscated drugs.

Let us never lose sight na malaki ang nahuli. Maraming mga bayani ang tumulong dito,” Abalos said.

He continued: “Hindi sila nagpakasilaw sa pera. We should really give credit to these people. Iyan po ang mga pulis ng Pilipinas, ‘yan po ang Philippine National Police (PNP).”

Abalos granted a spot promotion to team leader Police Captain Luis Q. De Luna to next higher rank or Major, for his excellent work in the conduct of the said operation and for resisting temptation involving the multi-billion pesos illegal drugs.

He said that the bravery and excellent service of police officials and other law enforcement units involved in the operation must be credited despite the confusion on the actual amount of the shabu seized in Batangas.

“Hindi biro po ito. Ito ay bunga ng pagpupursigi at katapangan ng mga tao rito. Buhay po nila ang talagang tinaya nila rito. Hindi malayong balikan sila rito,” he underscored.