As the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee continued its probe into the drug smuggling through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the tara system practiced by certain unscrupulous groups in the agency, Senator Dick Gordon is alarmed by the slow pace in the destruction of seized drugs despite the reported large seizures of shabu that hug the headlines regularly.
During the hearing, Gordon, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair, disclosed that from 2012 to 2017, Integrated Waste Management INC, one of two companies accredited to destroy seized illegal drugs, only managed to burn 4,319.8 kilos of shabu as ordered by the courts. The other firm, Cleanway Environmental Solutions, Inc., only handles chemicals and precursors.
“I’m trying to open your eyes to the fact na ang dami-dami nating nababasa sa pahayagan, ang dami-daming nagkakamatayan, ang dami ng droga diumano’y nahuhuli pero ang nasusunog lamang ay kakapiranggot – 4,319.8 kilograms in five years. Sa nababasa ko, lampas-lampasan na yan. Sa dinami-dami ng nahuhuli, sa dinami-dami ng napapatay, sa bakbakan ng mga pulis, mga drug pushers na napapatay, nakukulong, 4,319.8 kilograms lang,” the veteran legislator lamented.
The seasoned lawmaker warned that this could give rise to the suspicion that there is a fifth column in the judiciary or in law enforcement agencies that are recycling the confiscated shabu, given the slow pace of the destruction by authorities of illegal drugs seized in government operations.
“Ang magsususpetsa dyan at ayokong maniwala ang bayan dyan. Pagsususpetsahan ng bayan diyan ang gobyerno, lalo na ang PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), lalo na ang husgado, lalo na ang NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), lalo na ang kapulisan – na marami pa ding drugs. My goodness! Ang dami-daming drugs na pumasok. Ibig sabihin nire-recyle. There is a fifth column either of judges, of policemen, PDEA, NBI. I don’t know. There is obviously something wrong. The whole executive and the judicial system of the government is now on the carpet – from Customs to the police to NBI to PDEA and now to the courts – ang conclusion diyan mabagal ang courts,” the Senator from Olongapo and Zambales said.
Gordon advised PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino to strictly monitor drug operations and asked him to present a state of the nation report on the drug situation in the country.
“Bantayan niyo ang nahuhuli ninyo. Ilan na ang nasusunog? Baka nire-recycle. Unfair naman sa inyo, unfair sa pulis, unfair sa PDEA, unfair sa judiciary kung hindi nasusunog yon at nire-recycle. Dapat meron kang state of the nation report on drugs,” he said.