Gordon refutes Duterte on P6.8-B ‘shabu’ shipment
Senator Richard Gordon disputed on Wednesday the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte denying that there were P6.8-billion worth of “shabu” smuggled into the country.
Duterte earlier dismissed the alleged shipment, saying that the claim of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) that containers found in Cavite have been emptied of “shabu” was “pure speculation.”
“Hindi ako naniniwala na walang drugs [doon] (I don’t believe that there are no drugs there). You can tell the President I said so,” Gordon told reporters.
The senator also said that Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña could be denying the presence of illegal drugs in the containers only to echo Duterte’s pronouncement.
He explained it is “unquestioned” whether the circumstantial evidences on the alleged smuggling prove that illegal drugs were indeed shipped in the country and could now be circulating in the market.
Testimonies during the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee disclosed that seven Chinese nationals arrived in July at the warehouse in Cavite where the magnetic lifters were discovered.
The foreigners were supposed to arrive at the warehouse on May 12 but only went there on July 13, according to Robert Cantemprate, son of Vicenta Cantemprate who owns the facility.
Warehouseman Eric Rodelas also said he saw one of the men using a grinder to open the magnetic lifters upon their arrival at the warehouse. He said the Chinese nationals stayed inside for several hours after they ordered him and other warehousemen to lock the gate properly.
The containers have been emptied when they next checked it, he said.
PDEA discovered four magnetic lifters in the warehouse on August 9, two days after another two lifters were found to have contained P3.4 billion worth of shabu at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
PDEA claimed that the magnetic lifters found in Cavite were very similar to those in MICP. /jpv
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