De Lima sounds alarm over unprecedented hauls of cocaine in Bicol and Mindanao

De Lima sounds alarm over unprecedented hauls of cocaine in Bicol and Mindanao

Opposition senator Leila de Lima is raising the alarm over the successive  recovery packs of cocaine off the Bicol region, Northern Mindanao and other regions and has questioned the capability of the Duterte administration to address the issue.

“Imbes na tuluyang mapigilan at matukoy ang mga nasa likod ng pagbabagsak ng ilegal na droga sa bansa, tila ba hindi ganoon kaseryoso ang pagtutok ng gobyerno sa isyu kaya tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang ganitong kalakaran,” De Lima said in a statement from Camp Crame.

One of the fierciest critic of the Duterte administration cites the fact that numerous small-time drug dealers and users have been  killed under  his watch in the implementation of his war on illegal drugs, while those behind massive drug shipments remain at large.

Liberal Party's  Senator Leila de Lima (photo credit to owner)

“Libo-libo na ang pinatay nilang mahihirap sa ngalan ng war on drugs ni Duterte, na diumano’y nahulihan ng kapiranggot na ilegal na droga, pero kapag maramihan at bilyon-bilyon na ang halaga, pinapalampas lang at walang pinapanagot ang gobyernong ito,” she added.

The opposition senator cited the P218 million worth of cocaine, weighing 39 kilograms  (kgs) and enclosed in 12 boxes, found by fishermen off Gubat,  Sorsogon last May 27.

She also cited Philippine National Police (PNP) data which revealed that in 2019 alone, over 100 kgs of cocaine have been recovered in the country’s eastern seaboard, particularly in the provinces of Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur in Luzon, and Dinagat Islands, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao.

De Lima quoted the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as reportedly looking at Mexico and Colombia as possible sources of the blocks of illegal drugs found in Sorsogon.

“With the repeated incidence of cocaine haul in our waters, it appears that our government is clueless on what it should do about these problems,” she said.

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Report from PDI

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