Authorities arrest owner of abandoned shabu-filled luggage at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2019   •   854

Alleged owner (left) of the luggage filled with shabu (right) | Photos taken from the Facebook page of the Bureau of Customs

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Sunday arrested a man who abandoned his luggage filled with P35 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) at the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said the owner of the luggage – a Filipino national who boarded an early morning flight from Hanoi, Vietnam on Sept. 28 – fled the airport and abandoned his brown trolley bag and a backpack when subjected to physical inspection.

Upon closer examination, the luggage yielded white crystalline shabu weighing more or less 5.16 kilograms, the BOC said.

The BOC-NAIA, with the help of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), arrested the suspect in Tarlac City around 4 p.m. of the same day.

The suspect will be charged with violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

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NCRPO seizes shabu worth P81.6-M in Taguig City

Maris Federez   •   May 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has recorded one of the biggest amounts of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as “shabu”, confiscated by local police during an anti-illegal drug operation on Friday night, May 22, along C6 Road in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.

The combined anti-illegal drug efforts of the Regional Intelligence Division/Regional Special Operations Unit- NCRPO, Regional Drug Enforcement Agency, District Intelligence Division- Southern Police District and Taguig City Police Station together with Philippine National Police- Drug Enforcement Group Special Operations Unit 4, all under the leadership of PMGen. Debold Sinas resulted in an armed encounter against the two (2) armed suspects.

The NCRPO chief identified the suspects as Ryan Labandaria and Ervyn Querubin.

The arrest was made through a buy-bust operation wherein a police operative acted as a poseur buyer.

The suspects, however, noticed that they were dealing with the police and a scuffle ensued. The suspects then fled the scene on board a black Nissan Navarra with the police on their tail.

The police said the suspects were subsequently apprehended and the operatives yielded twelve (12) large packs of dangerous drugs wrapped in Chinese Tea Bag packaging with an estimated weight of more or less 12 Kilograms of suspected shabu, and with an estimated DDB Value of Php 81.6-million.

Aside from the drugs, the police were also able to confiscate the following:

  • one .45 caliber pistol with one magazine loaded with six (6) live ammunitions;
  • one KG9 sub machine gun with one live ammunition for chamber load inserted with banana type magazine loaded with nine (9) live ammunitions; and,
  • one extra banana type magazine loaded with nine (9) live ammunitions

Police said an ambulance was called to bring the wounded suspects to hospital for medical treatment.

All evidence had also been brought to the RSOG-NCRPO for safekeeping, while the illegal drugs will be submitted to the Crime lab for examination.

Sinas, meanwhile, commended the operating teams for what the chief called a remarkable accomplishment of Team NCRPO’s war against illegal drugs.

“This accomplishment is reflective of Team NCRPO’s dedication and unwavering support of the marching order of the President and the Chief, PNP to cleanse the Metro from proliferation of illegal drugs,” Sinas said.

“With the largest amount of shabu busted by Team NCRPO so far this year, we have also minimized its possibility of destroying the lives and future of our fellowmen,” he added. — /mbmf

NAIA reopens for int’l chartered, commercial flights with homebound Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   May 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has opened for inbound international chartered and commercial flights on Monday (May 11).

The resumption of operations, however, is only limited to overseas Filipinos who are returning home to the Philippines, clarified the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

CAAP added that foreign tourists and non-residents remain restricted from entering the country except for diplomats and heads or members of international missions. 

“Itong in-issue ng Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines na Notice to Airmen is only starting today hanggang June 10 but it doesn’t mean na hanggang June 10 ito (The CAAP-issued Notice to Airmen is only starting today until June 10, but it doesn’t mean it’s only up to June 10),” noted CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio.

“Depende ito sa sitwasyon. Kung mag-i-improve naman, baka mag-relax iyong restrictions ng arrivals ng international flights sa airport (It will depend on the situation. If it improves, we may relax restrictions on international flight arrivals in the airport),” he added.

Inbound international chartered flights will only be allowed to land at NAIA on Mondays and Thursdays provided that they secure a clearance from CAAP and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

International commercial flights, meanwhile, are allowed during Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

Such scheduling of flights is needed as NAIA, for now, can only accommodate 400 passengers a day so as to maintain strict physical distancing protocols and to comply with the rules imposed by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in the conduct of COVID-19 testing and other procedures on all arriving passengers in NAIA.

Commercial flights, however, must get the approval of CAAP within 48 hours prior to its take off from point of origin. 

If the flight is coming from countries with high incidence of COVID-19 infection, the permission to allow them to proceed will depend on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) as the overall in charge of the national government’s response on the global pandemic. 

CAAP reiterates that social distancing protocols will always be observed in every flight. MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Young doctor among 8 fatalities in medical evacuation plane crash at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   March 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A medical evacuation plane burst into flames shortly while taking off at Runway 24 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sunday evening (March 29).

The flight carrying eight passengers, including an American and a Canadian national, was bound for Haneda in Japan.

“Unfortunately, no passenger survived the accident,” the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said in a statement.

MIAA said the runway has been temporarily closed while the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines carries out an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

Reports said the flight was carrying a Canadian patient and a companion; a doctor and a nurse.

The Manila Public Information Office citing PLM President Noel Leyco revealed the identity of the doctor who perished in the accident.

In her Facebook post, Nicko’s sister, singer-songwriter Ria Bautista, confirmed that her younger brother, Cenover Nicandro “Nicko” Baustista was among the eight crash victims.

“I lost my brother on that flight. No words can describe how devastating it is to lose a family member in such a horrific way. How do you process something like this,” she said.

She posted her brother’s last post prior to the tragedy and hailed the efforts of his brother and all of the front liners in the battle against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“He fought like a hero and I can only hope that his fight would not be in vain,” she concluded.

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