Chinese linked to ‘shabu’ haul hunted
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday ordered the Philippine National Police to pursue its hunt for a Chinese man believed to hold key information on the crystal meth or “shabu” haul weighing over a ton that was seized from an anti-drug agent last year.
At the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, Dela Rosa also issued a public challenge to Mike Sy, a supposed mule for the Chinese drug mafia, to come out and expose the government anti-drug personnel who had become members of the syndicate.
“I am asking the [PNP] to conduct a manhunt because if you will not do anything about this, there will be more drug shipments of this magnitude that will reach our country,” he said.
Dela Rosa’s committee wrapped up its investigation of the seizure of more than a ton of shabu from Police Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo, an intelligence officer of the PNP’s Drug Enforcement Group-Special Operations Unit (DEG-SOU) in the National Capital Region, and the alleged cover-up by police officers that ensued following his arrest.
But he expressed dismay that his inquiry failed to extract information from Mayo and the team of arresting police officers about the source of the shabu shipment, as they either claimed ignorance or invoked their right against self-incrimination.
“Aside from all the lies, the committee confirmed that there was a widespread cover-up in the shabu haul. The cover-up is the main issue unless Mayo reveals who his bosses are, but he always invokes his right against self-incrimination or to remain silent,” Dela Rosa said.
At the hearing, the senator divulged that he was contacted by a go-between for Sy, who supposedly offered to testify before the committee to clarify his involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“He probably wants to clear his status as the No. 1 shabu king in the Philippines and wants to prove that he is no longer No. 1 but he admits that he is involved in shabu,” he said.
But Dela Rosa clarified that Sy’s appearance did not push through because he was reportedly “prevailed upon by his handler in the police force.”
“Now he can’t be contacted, and he must have thrown away his phone,” the senator said although he added that Sy could be in Cavite or in the vicinity of the Sablayan Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.
“He likes staying near the Sablayan prison because there are convicted drug lords who are locked up there for whom he works as a warehouse man,” he said.
Meanwhile, the proposal to abolish the PNP’s DEG-SOU in all 17 regions would no longer push through. Instead, a stricter vetting process would be implemented to reform the PNP’s main antinarcotics units after several personnel were found to be involved in the drug trade.
“It’s not the office, but the personnel who have issues. So what we wanted to really do is implement proper vetting, continuous monitoring, and continuous background investigation among our DEG personnel to make sure they are not involved in illegal activities,” Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., chief of the PNP, said in a press conference on Monday in Camp Crame.
Brig. Gen. Faro Antonio Olaguera, director of the DEG, said they would comply with Acorda’s decision.
“If the reorganization or dissolution of our SOUs will not push through, we will humbly submit to the wisdom of the PNP chief,” he said, adding that lifestyle checks and profiling of DEG personnel were still being implemented to make sure that those with derogatory records would be thrown out.