Marikina Representative Romero “Miro” S. Quimbo, a former House Ways and Means Chair responsible for exposing large-scale smuggling incidents in the past – including imported sports cars, agricultural products, industrial machinery and resin, expressed shock on Monday over the most recent incident of illegal drug smuggling in the country.
It was discovered over the course of the previous week that six magnetic lifters containing smuggled methamphetamine, otherwise known as shabu, were able to enter the country. Two of the lifters, found to contain 500 kg of shabu, were seized from an unclaimed container at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) on August 7, while the remaining lifters, believed to have contained 1,000 kg of shabu, were discovered a day later, now empty, at a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite.
“It is simply shocking. I find this completely unacceptable that incidents like these continue to happen despite supposed reforms which the Bureau of Customs undertook in the aftermath of last year’s similar P6.4 Bn shabu smuggling case as well as the gargantuan intelligence budgets provided by Congress to both the BOC and PDEA,” Quimbo said.
“Because of persisting corruption and incompetence, 1,000 kilograms of shabu is now likely circulating in our streets. What is even more worrying is that we don’t know how many more shipments like these have slipped through the porous grasp of the BOC,” Quimbo added.
Quimbo has filed House Resolution No. 2068, which seeks to investigate the continued inability of the BOC to prevent large-scale smuggling of illegal drugs, in response to the incident.
“We have to get to the bottom of this. As it stands, this inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to prevent the inflow of contraband into the country is an indictment of the government’s War on Drugs. Worse is that this could not have happened without the active connivance of BOC personnel. That’s the only thing certain,” Quimbo said.
Rep. Miro S. Quimbo