Random Thoughts

Urdaneta City, a drug transshipment point?

By Leonardo Micua

THE arrest of five Chinese nationals in Pangasinan, two of them carrying fake passports and another with expired passport while the fourth was undocumented, in an operation that led to the seizure of P124 million worth of shabu In Urdaneta just a few days after the election, is quite worrisome.

This should not stop with the arrest of the five by the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the police till all their cohorts are finally identified and also put behind bars.

It should be looked into not just with a passing glance but with probing eyes as there is a big possibility that the big Chinese mafia may already have started building its base in Pangasinan taking advantage of the election and campaign activities that tied the hands of the police.

Thank God, their initial foray into Pangasinan was nipped in the bud, or was it?

With the arrest of the five tentacles of the drug syndicate and the seizure of a big volume of shabu totaling 18.8 kilograms, it could only mean the syndicate has been shipping larger volume of illegal drugs into Pangasinan. The recent discovery may not be the first bulk shipment of drugs here by the same syndicate.

The NBI and the PDEA both consider the busted P124 million shabu as the biggest drug haul ever recorded in Northern Philippines and still they have yet to establish if those were sourced outside or locally manufactured.     

There is a big probability this volume of drugs may have again slipped past Bureau of Customs. Little is the probability this was retrieved in the open sea near us. Going by the regional police certification that there is no underground drug laboratory existing in Pangasinan or Region 1, it couldn’t have been manufactured here.       

Meantime, there is a suspicion that the Chinese nationals may have already been staying in Pangasinan, mingling with the population, enjoying the hospitality of their local contacts who may be fellow Chinese from the local community.

All the suspects, except one, cannot speak English. How can they survive in a large province such as Pangasinan if they have a language problem with the local folks?

One of the suspects, we were informed, was living in a rented apartment along the national highway in Calasiao and another in Mangaldan. It is just logical that they have connections with their fellow Chinese since he cannot speak or understand the local dialect nor even speak English.

Who were their cohorts, their protectors? It is about time the protectors are unmasked.   

Their arrest few days after the election even fueled the suspicion that the syndicate bankrolled candidates in buying votes. Let’s see who among the winners will turn a blind eye on the illegal drug operations in towns and cities where the syndicate operate.  

Expect a much longer narco-pol list soon!

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Relative to this, P/Lt. Col. Crystal Peralta, PNP Regional Office spokesperson, called on the people to report to the police any stranger acting suspiciously in their communities.

She said the five Chinese nationals were arrested with the help of the people who informed the authorities about their presence.  In a talk over Bombo Radyo Dagupan, she said she could not imagine the damage to the youth had the 18.8 kilograms of shabu reached the streets. Let us always be vigilant and help in destroying the drug syndicates in our midst.

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Manny, my friend from Chicago, USA called me thru Messenger to express his dismay over the conduct of the overseas voting in the U.S. Midwest, where the turnout was less than one fourth of the total registered voters.

He said of the 20,344 registered voters from the Midwest. only 4,582 sent back their ballots to the PH consulate in Chicago. He said the number of registered Fil-Am voters was higher by about 80 percent than the 12,600 voters who registered during the 2016 presidential elections won by President Duterte. He wondered if this was an indication of the waning interest of the Fil-Am in PH elections.

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