By Pot Chavez

INVENTORY. Personnel from the Batangas Provincial Police Office conduct an inventory  of the shabu seized in an intelligence-driven checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag town on Monday afternoon (April 15, 2024). The suspect was formally slapped with appropriate charges on Wednesday. (PNA photo by Pot Chavez)

CALAMBA, Laguna – The driver of the van caught with a huge amount of illegal drugs in Alitagtag town, Batangas on Monday was formally filed with appropriate charges on Wednesday.

Charges for violations of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code were filed at the office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Batangas City.

The van driven by the suspect identified only as alias “Al” was flagged down by personnel of the Alitagtag Municipal Police Station (MPS) during an intelligence-driven checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan.

The driver failed to present his license and big plastic bags containing shabu were later discovered inside the vehicle that led to his apprehension and the seizure of big quantity of the illegal substance.

In a statement, the Police Regional Office in Calabarzon (PRO-4A) said the suspect is now under the custody of the Batangas Police Provincial Office while waiting for court proceedings.

“Based on the initial information, a male suspect known as alias “Al” was arrested for possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride weighing 1,424.253 kilograms with an estimated Dangerous Drugs Board value of PHP9,684,920,400,” the statement read.

The seized drugs were previously reported as weighing about two tons and worth PHP13.3 billion.

Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran, PRO-4A public information chief, told the Philippine News Agency that the matter of reduced weight and amount is now under the charge of the Philippine National Police headquarters.

Likewise, the confiscated drug evidence that tested positive for shabu were properly turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency National Headquarters in Quezon City for proper disposition.

For his part, Brig. Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, Acting Regional Director of PRO-4A, said the public can expect an intensified campaign against illegal drugs from uniformed personnel in the Calabarzon region.

“On behalf of PRO-Calabarzon, we are committed to our fight against illegal drugs. Here in the ‘Bagong Pilipinas’, the police want only one thing, we are all safe,” he said in Filipino. (PNA)