Albayalde confirms drugs in Dinagat waters are cocaine
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde has confirmed that the blocks found floating near the shoreline of Cagdianao town in Dinagat Island province are cocaine.
Albayalde said that the blocks — weighing around 88 kilograms — were actually recovered in two instances. The first came when a fisherman found the drugs as reported on Friday, and another case where the illegal substances were brought by the water current to the shores.
“I talked with the regional director there, seemingly nag-positive doon sa test as cocaine substance ‘yong mga na-recover nilang blocks or bricks kung tawagin, na nag-total ng around 88 kilograms,” he told reporters after the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming on Saturday.
According to the PNP chief, investigators believe that the drugs were not meant to be sold here in the country; instead, it was intentionally left at sea, fitted with global positioning system (GPS) devices, to be picked up and shipped to another place.
“Ang initial analysis kasi dito is parang hindi na naman para sa atin ‘yan. Parang transient ‘yan. Remember hindi masyadong popular ang cocaine dito, although it’s being used. Because of its price, ‘di masyadong popular,” Albayalde explained.
“Pwedeng iniwan ito sa dagat, may GPS, initially naka-lubog, hindi lang alam kung bakit ito lumutang at nawawala na ‘yung GPS,” he added.
He also said that the strategy of leaving drugs underwater to be picked up by large syndicates is not a new practice, especially since the incident in Cagdianao has similarities with previous cases where illegal substances were also recovered in the sea.
“Remember last year meron ding nakuha sa Camarine, parang ganito na may GPS, of the same style the same modus (operandi),” he noted.
“Actually itong strategy na ito hindi na bago sa atin, marami na tayong nare-recover na ganyan even in the past, in some parts of Pangasinan, I think way back 2004 merong mga malalaking na-recover na naka-lubog dyan na shabu,” he added. /cbb
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