Drug haul in Alitagtag, Batangas falls from nearly 2 tons to 1.4 tons

Drug haul in Alitagtag, Batangas falls from nearly 2 tons to 1.4 tons

ON April 15th, 2024, authorities reported the interception of illegal drugs at a checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag, Batangas.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced that the seized illegal drugs, found in a van, weighed nearly two tons and were estimated to be worth over 13 billion pesos.

This news was controversial and received various reactions from Filipinos, with some expressing disbelief after President Bongbong Marcos reported it.

As the investigation progressed, the Philippine National Police (PNP) released the official count of the seized drugs.

According to the police, the quantity decreased from nearly two tons to 1.4 tons, equivalent to over 9 billion pesos in value.

As a result, more netizens doubted what was considered the largest drug haul in the country.

But it did not end there, as the amount further decreased from 1.4 tons of shabu to now only 1.2 tons.

In a media interview, PBgen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, Regional Director of PRO CALABARZON, explained that the reduction was due to the inclusion of packaging in the initial inventory.

“When we conducted the inventory in Alitagtag, the packaging was included, including the container. When we weighed the drugs seized in Alitagtag, of course, when it was turned over to PDEA, the packaging was removed, and this was the resulting weight of the confiscated shabu,” stated PBGen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, Regional Director, PRO CALABARZON.

The official made this statement following PDEA’s destruction of over ₱9 billion worth of illegal drugs at an Integrated Waste Management Facility in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City, Cavite on Thursday.

Among the items destroyed was over a ton of shabu seized at a checkpoint in Alitagtag, Batangas last April.

Asec. Renato Gumban, Deputy Director General for Operations of PDEA, explained that around 200 kilos of packaging material were used to wrap the drugs.

“When the packaging was removed in the laboratory service, it included plastic wrapping, thick plastic wrapping, and a plastic container. We removed the contents and weighed them. More or less, 300 grams was the weight of just one packaging, so overall, about 200 kilos were reduced from the total,”

said Asec. Renato Gumban, Deputy Director General for Operations, PDEA.

The reduction is from 1.4 to 1.2, more or less; I’m not accurate on that. That’s how thick and heavy the packaging used was.”

Authorities are still investigating the issue.

So far, only two suspects have been arrested in connection with this case: the van driver, identified as Aljon Michael Zarate, a former US soldier, and a Canadian national, identified as Thomas Gordon O’ Quinn.


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