Suspected cocaine found floating off Eastern Samar
TACLOBAN CITY-At least 25 packs of suspected cocaine were recovered by a fisherman in the waters off Guiuan town, Eastern Samar.
But the spokesperson of the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Eastern Visayas (PDEA-8) declined to confirm if the items were indeed cocaine pending results of a laboratory test.
The 25 packs of white powdery substance were discovered by Gomercido Nolasco, 42 and a resident of Barangay Casugoran of Homonhon Island off Guiuan on Saturday(Feb. 6) about 1:30 p.m.
Nolasco said he was preparing his fish net while waiting in the water when he saw a floating container.
“I was curious so I picked it up. Its cover was sealed thoroughly but I was able to open it and I saw 25 well-sealed packs inside the container,” he said in a phone interview.
He immediately reported the matter to their village chair, Saturnino Garado, after he brought the item to the house of village councilor Rosario Abuyno.
On Feb.6, policemen from Guiuan went to their village to check the items and claimed these could be cocaine, Nolasco said.
The Inquirer called and sent text messages to Chief Inspector William Daida, Guiuan police chief, but didn’t receive any response.
Rogelette Urgel, spokesperson of PDEA-8, said she could not say if these white powdery substance was indeed cocaine.
“This needs to be subjected to a laboratory test first,” she said in a phone interview.
But Guiuan Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales asked his constituents to report such items, if they found any, to the police.
“Remember that our government is waging a serious drive against illegal drugs,” he added.
A Chinese-registered cargo vessel, Jin Ming No.16, sank in the waters off Pambujan town, Northern Samar last Jan. 2.
The vessel was suspected to be carrying illegal substance but a report conducted by a task force said no contraband was found inside the vessel.
In 2009, about 1.2 tons of cocaine were said to have been thrown into the waters off Northern and Eastern Samar provinces by a Chinese vessel reportedly to avoid being detected by the Philippine and US governments.
More than 500 bricks were recovered by the PDEA and local authorities.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.