P50M shabu seized at Matnog port
By Bobby Q. Labalan SORSOGON CITY --- Police made another big score in its anti-drug operation with the apprehension of a huge shipment of shabu at Matnog Port in Matnog, Sorsogon Tuesday, April 11. Senior Supt. Ronaldo Cabral, police provincial director, said the illegal drugs were loaded on a van with plate number WLP-687 registered to a certain Ramil Luna Mercado of Malabon, Manila which was abandoned inside the port. Cabral said that the vehicle was first thought to be loaded with exploded which caused fear among civilians inside the port prompting them to report it to the Matnog Police Station. He said that “Task Force Puerto”, a joint task group composed of various law enforcement agencies and the military, was immediately mobilized to check on the vehicle, a Toyota Revo. “We used our drug and bomb sniffing dog, which was donated by the provincial government, to determine if indeed the vehicle had contraband inside since its doors and windows were all locked,” Cabral related to Bicol Mail. He said that on two instances the dog sat down on the rear portion of the vehicle, an indication that indeed there was something, either a bomb or drugs, inside. However, when the police explosive experts inspected the van they were surprised to find huge stash of shabu hidden behind the walls of the vehicle. Cabral said they counted 20 bags of pure high grade shabu with estimated street value of about P50M. The police director said that the vehicle had been monitored to have travelled from Lipata Port in Liloan passing through the ports of Allen in Samar and then in Matnog on April 7 on its way to Metro Manila. “Maybe they ‘shopped’ for shabu and was on their way back to Visayas or Mindanao, but when they noticed that Matnog Port has been under high security alert, maybe they got rattled or they panicked prompting them to abandon the vehicle,” Cabral added. He added that investigators are now checking on the identity of the driver to determine whether the registered owner himself was the one driving the vehicle. The contrabands are now under the custody of the regional crime laboratory. It was the biggest drug haul in Bicol so far this year.