DILG, PNP, and PDEA clarify actual value of seized shabu in Batangas checkpoint

DILG, PNP, and PDEA clarify actual value of seized shabu in Batangas checkpoint

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) addressed the media at Camp Crame to explain the change in the value of the seized shabu in Batangas last Monday.

Initially reported as 2 tons, authorities later revised it to 1.4 tons, equivalent to approximately 9.69 billion pesos, down from the initially reported value of over 13 billion pesos.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos emphasized transparency and addressed the public’s doubts that there could be irregularities in their reporting.

He stressed that they were transparent from the beginning to the inventory’s completion.

‘‘We were transparent. Because there were so many estimates, it was all estimates. Here is PDEA—we asked Gumban, so later you will see it very clearly. Show them what happened at 7, I arrived at around 12. (More or less according to estimates, approximately 2 tons, and this is more or less valued at 13.3 billion based on the standard drug price),’’ according to Sec. Benhur Abalos.

Abalos mentioned that agencies like the PNP and PDEA are not obligated to provide estimates, especially for illegal drugs, but they may consider being more cautious in providing relevant information in the future.

‘‘We feel pressured with estimates, we don’t give estimates unless pressed by the press, you are the ones asking there. It’s just simple mathematics, estimates. Did I use a formula earlier? Do we need to use Algebra? No, it’s just simple Math, that’s estimating,’’ Sec. Abalos added.

‘‘We usually give estimates but it’s not required… just to give you that this is what we got… DILG is right, we are so overwhelmed so we need to ask the expert coming from the PDEA,’’ PGen. Rommel Francisco Marbil, Chief PNP, stated.

Meanwhile, the government insisted that the seizure of a large quantity of drugs in Batangas was not “staged” or “for show.”

‘‘Aside from the lone suspect and yacht discovered by authorities, several houses, vehicles, and four other locations are now under investigation as potential sources of the illegal drugs,’’ Abalos said.

‘‘We can only say this much, this is the entire incident when they got the seizure, it continues, there are vehicles being followed up. After that, we have four sites. We looked for the actual thing. There was another vehicle caught there, we don’t know what its involvement is. We are still trailing these. Whoever they are, wherever they are, we will not relent,’’ PGen. Marbil added.


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