‘Nobody died’: Marcos calls recent shabu bust ‘correct approach’

‘Nobody died’: Marcos calls Batangas ops ‘correct approach’ vs drugs

‘Nobody died’: Marcos calls Batangas ops ‘correct approach’ vs drugs

‘BIGGEST DRUG SHIPMENT YET’ President Marcos arrives on Tuesday at Alitagtag town, Batangas province, as police continue their inventory of the 1.8 tons of “shabu” (crystal meth) intercepted on Monday. Mr. Marcos said the success of the current drug war is “much more than what has been achieved in the past.” NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

LUCENA CITY, QUEZON, Philippines — Following the seizure on Monday of some 1.8 tons of suspected crystal meth, or “shabu,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took a closer look at the confiscated pile, hailing the low-key operation that led to the discovery as “the correct approach to the drug war.”

“Nobody died,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday, taking an apparent swipe at the bloody antinarcotics campaign of his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte.


Police on April 15 intercepted the drugs at a checkpoint in Alitagtag town, Batangas province. A team led by the municipal police chief, Capt. Luis de Luna Jr. was alerted about a passenger van going to Lipa City coming from Sta. Teresita town.


READ: P13-B ‘shabu’ seized by cops in Batangas checkpoint

The van’s driver, Alajon Michael Zarate, was arrested after the vehicle was found carrying an estimated P13.3 billion worth of shabu.

De Luna was promoted on the spot by Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos during a press conference on Monday in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag. Also present were Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rommel Marbil.

Silent operation

Speaking at another press conference in Alitagtag, Marcos reiterated how his administration’s approach to the drug menace had sharply differed from that of Duterte’s.

“I would like to point out that this is the biggest shipment of shabu that we intercepted. But not one person died. Nobody died. No shots were fired. Nobody was hurt,” the President said.

“We operated silently. For me, this is the correct approach to the drug war,” he added.


Asked by reporters if he would be open to modifying this approach, Marcos replied: “No. Quite the contrary, why would we change? Look at the success that we have gained. It’s much more than what has been achieved in the past.”

“This is the most successful approach to the drug war so far. So, why will we change it? We won’t change it. We will continue to do what we are doing,” he said.


According to the President, his administration has so far seized an estimated 13.3 tons of shabu.

He said the drugs captured on Monday weighed some 1.8 tons, not more than two tons as earlier reported.

These are of “very high quality, very high potency,” Marcos said, citing the initial police investigation.

“But one thing is clear: this was smuggled, not manufactured in the country. This came from abroad,” the President said.

“We will not stop. We will catch up with you soon,” Marcos said, referring to the drug syndicates. “The Philippines is a small country.”

During their inspection of the seized shabu on Monday, Abalos and other officials noted that the packs containing the meth had Arabic instead of the usual Chinese inscriptions.

P100,000 reward

De Luna said his team had yet to submit a report on how they were able to intercept the drugs.

“We don’t want to compromise the ongoing operations until we file the case with the court,” said the Alitagtag police chief.

To go with his spot promotion, Mandanas said, De Luna would also receive a plaque of appreciation from the provincial government and a cash reward of P100,000.

Marcos later explained that the money was intended for De Luna and his team.

Before Monday’s operation, the largest drug haul on record was the P11 billion worth of shabu seized in Infanta, Quezon province, in March 2022, three months before the end of Duterte’s term.

The drugs kept in 1,589 tea bags were found in three vans passing a checkpoint in Infanta. A law enforcement team led by the National Bureau of Investigation agents arrested 10 suspects.

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Duterte conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu on the NBI for the operation.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., PNP Batangas, shabu

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