‘Ecstasy’ pills worth P750K seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2020   •   741

MANILA, Philippines – Another parcel containing ecstasy tablets was intercepted by authorities, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.

The BOC said its operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agencyand NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group seized the package containing over 196 pieces of ecstasy tablets and 151 grams of Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) power or raw ecstasy at the Central Mail Exchange Center.

The BOC said the parcel, which was sent by a certain Jansen J.J.K from Amersfoot, Netherlands, was declared as key chain intended for Cebu City.

When subjected to 100% physical examination, the package was found to contain ecstasy drugs in pills and powder/crystal forms with aggregate street value of P750,000.

PDEA Chemical Laboratory results confirmed that tablets and the crystallized substance contains MDMA or ecstasy/molly.

The illegal drugs are now in the custody of PDEA for further investigation and institution of inquest proceedings for violation of the Republic Act 9165 also known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act in relation to Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of the Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Since January 2020, the BOC said the Port of NAIA in partnership with PDEA and NAIA-IADITG already intercepted 41 different shipments of illegal drugs with a total value of P83.6 Million of the anti-illegal drugs. Thirteen shipments of which contained Ecstasy worth P40.4 Million.

Duterte orders Cebu to follow IATF’s COVID-19 testing, quarantine protocols for returning Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the provincial government of Cebu to adhere to the COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols set by the national government for returning overseas Filipinos, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement after the memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on the diversion of Cebu-bound flights to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) lapsed on June 12.

“From the Office of the Executive Secretary, the President has decided that the IATF protocols must be implemented by the Cebu province,” Roque said during his regular online briefing.

“The President has also considered the DOH critique and has decided that Cebu province must abide by IATF arrival protocols,” he added.

Cebu had been administering RT-PCR tests on returning nationals upon their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

This is contrary to the IATF protocols, which require arriving Filipinos to undergo quarantine in a government-accredited facility for 10 days and take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of their arrival.

“The last extension was just a preparation for full implementation of that decision,” Roque said, pertaining to Medialdea’s order to extend the diversion of flights bound for Cebu to NAIA, which was in effect from June 5 to 12.

Roque, however, leaves to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) the decision on what measure to take should Cebu continue to defy the national government’s protocol.

Duterte earlier met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss quarantine protocols.

3 drug personalities killed in drug buy-bust; P68M worth of shabu seized

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

Three drug personalities were neutralized in a drug buy-bust operation launched by the Philippine National Police and and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives in Cebu, Cityon Thursday evening (June 10).

PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar identified one of the suspects as alias Levon.

Anti-illegal drug operatives encountered Levon and his two unidentified male cohorts during a drug buy-bust operation at Brgy. Campo 4, Talisay City and Brgy Tap-Tap, Cebu City around 9:00 p.m. of June 10, 2021.

The encounter led to an armed confrontation which resulted in the deaths of the three drug suspects.

Recovered at the crime scene were 10 large packs containing suspected shabu weighing 10 kilos with estimated standard drug price of P68 million and two firearms.

Eleazar assured that the PNP will continue its fight in curbing illegal drugs.

“The Philippine National Police remains steadfast, under the PNP Intensified Cleanliness Policy, in fighting the bigger war on illegal drugs without let-up. The PNP offers no compromise for anyone found to be involved in illegal drugs activities. We remain constantly working with PDEA to crush the real enemy,” he said. AAC

Palace extends diversion of Cebu-bound int’l flights to NAIA until June 12

Robie de Guzman   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The diversion to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of international flights bound for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will be extended to June 12, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued a memo extending the flight diversion “until 23:59 hours of June 12.”

 Roque said this is to provide ample time for authorities to thresh out Cebu Province’s COVID-19 protocols for returning Filipinos, which differs from the directives issued by the national government.

International flights for MCIA were initially redirected to NAIA from May 29 to June 5.

“Ito po’y para maayos yung pag-implement ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) arrival protocol sa Cebu,” Roque said in a media briefing.

The Cebu government requires passengers to undergo a test upon arrival at the airport while the IATF requires screening of passengers on the 7th day of their quarantine.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week met with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss this difference.

Roque expects the Cebu government to comply with the specific protocols mandated by the IATF after the flight diversion period ends.

“Upon resumption of flights to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the travel and testing protocols approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases will be fully and seamlessly implemented,” Roque said, reading from the memo.

“Inaasahan po natin that on the 13th of June, the IATF protocols on arriving OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and OFs (overseas Filipinos) will be implemented in Cebu. Yan po ay according to the memorandum issued by the executive secretary dated 5 of June 2021,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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