No shabu found in floating drum

INFANTA FISHERMEN’S FIND

INFANTA–The 20 kilos of white crystalline substance found inside a drum floating off the coastal waters by local fishermen here tested negative of shabu by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Office in La Union.

PDEA Region 1 Director Jeoffrey Tacio said the laboratory test on Sept. 2, the same day it was turned over for laboratory test in their regional office, showed the substance did contain shabu, ephedrine and cocaine.

The substance was also brought on the same night to PDEA national headquarters for further tests to determine whether it contained other illegal chemicals,

The confirmatory test at PDEA national headquarters, showed the white crystalline substance was negative of any dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals under RA 9165.

Tacio, however, said the tests have yet to determine what the substance is made of.

Barangay Captain Charlito Maniago of Cato, Infanta said in a separate interview that five fishermen found the items floating about 143 nautical miles from Tambobong in Dasol, Pangasinan near the Ilocos Sur area on Aug. 27.

The boat captain turned over the items to him and the police as soon as they reached land.

“We properly documented it and the items were intact, including the sealed plastic that wrapped it because we have to be careful,” Maniago said.

It may be recalled that during the time of then President Joseph Estrada in November 1999, about 420 kilos of shabu estimated to worth P1-billion, contained in 13 plastic drums were seized in Barangay Bayambang, Infanta by joint police and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force elements.

It was the biggest drug haul at that time. (Eva Visperas)