Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, June 19, 2008


By: Egay Serrano - People's Journal
The Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group headed by Undersecretary Antonio Villar pulled off an incredible feat with the P15-billion drug bust at the Subic Freeport, by far the biggest drug haul in the country to date.
The ineffectiveness of the Bureau of Customs in controlling smuggling nationwide proved to be a lucky break for the multi-billion-peso drug bust with the assignment of Usec. Villar’s men, headed by Edmund Arugay, to guard the Freeport against the activities of smuggling syndicates.
Note that a Subic custom boarding officer identified as Romulo Labrusca cleared FB Shun Fa Xing, the alleged vessel that brought the shabu shipment to the Freeport with the customs documents declaring that there are “no dangerous cargo on board.” The document was signed by both Jou Jonq Rong, the ship captain, and Labrusca.
Had this regular custom’s officer done his job properly, he would have been the first to discover the attempt to smuggle in billions of drugs via SBMA. Usec. Villar said the drug bust was only triggered when task force agents observed a vehicle suspiciously roaming in the vicinity of a Taiwanese vessel, FB Shun Fa Xing, which had arrived from Vietnam.
This only confirms our view that the anti-smuggling group is a better alternative in preventing rampant smuggling in the country than that group headed by Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales.
Meanwhile, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said that Subic Bay Freeport is not a transshipment point of illegal drugs, reacting to a statement from an obviously sour graping Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Dionisio Santiago. For the record, PDEA seized about 330 kilos of shabu last year as compared to PASG’s 745 kilos in a single operation.
True to his form, Usec .Villar says he is not really satisfied with their historic drug bust, knowing that there may be more illegal drugs being smuggled into the country through hundreds of big and small ports dotting the country.
And this early, he is now training his eyes on an even more sinister group of smugglers -- those involved in human trafficking.

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