December 8, 2023


News and Information

By Tonton Alcos Antogop


Don’t ever wonder why shabu continues to arrived in Cebu.

They have lots of entry points, thats according to the top man of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the region.

The entry points, according to PDEA-7 Regional Director Wardley Getalla is made possible as drug syndicates are taking advantage of the vast coastline of Cebu.

He said there are drugs where the syndicates would use pumpboats and other private marine vessel which would dock at coastal areas.

“We have received some reports that the drugs are entering Cebu through private pumpboats or marine vessels into, not in the ports (usually) being monitored by the law enforcement but to the coastal areas who (sic) do not have port authorities that is one of the big challenge that we are confronting right now,” Getalla said, adding, “it is not impossible to use the vast coastal area in Central Visayas particularly in Cebu. This is an island and as you can see there are many point of entries for these drug syndicates.”

According to Getalla the public support is very important in the campaign against illegal drugs especially those living in the coastal areas to report to them and the other law enforcement agencies once they monitor suspicious persons aboard pumpboats and other vessels.

Getalla said the PDEA and the police in the region under the leadership of Police Regional Office  (PRO-7) Regional Director Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas is doing their best  in going after the drug groups that are operating in their area of responsibility (AOR). Earlier today,  police operatives seized P190 million worth of shabu in two operations in Inayawan, Cebu City and Consolacion town. The first operation of Pardo police past 1am led to the arrest of Elymar Ancajas, 24, in Fatima Homes, Inayawan.

Ancajas was collared with about 18 kilograms of suspected shabu worth P122 million. The next operation that took place past 3Am resulted to the arrest of Jocelyn Encila in barangay Casili, Consolacion where she allegedly had 10 kilos of shabu in her possession. Gen. Sinas revealed that Ancajas and Encila worked for the Igot Drug Group whose leader Rustico Igot is imprisoned in the national penitentiary in Bilibid, Bicutan, Metro Manila.

Aside from using the coastal areas, Getalla also bared that another mode of transporting shabu is through the use of “ro-ro system” where the contraband according to various intelligence sources are placed in private vehicles which would used the ro-ro (roll-on roll-off ) routes of sea vessels in coming over to Cebu.

“We also have some reports that they are employing (parcel services), seaports, particularly the ro-ro system of our seaport,” Getalla told newsmen in the recent AGIO-PIA forum. Shabu coming from Manila which are being transacted by the high-profile inmates in Bilibid could be taken by private vehicles which would either proceed to Matnog, Sorsogon or to Masbate enroute to Cebu.

From Sorsogon, the vehicle aboard the ro-ro could go to Allen, Samar then to Leyte before it will proceed to Cebu. If it depart from Masbate, it could take a boat towards Polambato wharf in the City of Bogo. Kerwin Espinosa who is facing drug charges along with Cebuano businessman Peter Lim revealed in a senate investigation that they would transport shabu using the ro-ro routes, departing from Manila through a private vehicle that would go to Matnog, Sorsogon then the vehicle would took a ro-ro vessel to Allen, Samar and from Samar go straight to Albuera, Leyte, the base of his illegal drug business.

Espinosa said the shabu would be hidden in spare tires, luggage or towels. The operation early today is a major accomplishment for the police after President Rodrigo Duterte told them in his visit to Cebu last February 24 to be relentless in their campaign against the illegal drug problem.

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