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Shabu lab dismantled in remote Batangas farm.

By Chito Chavez

Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) dismantled a clandestine laboratory used in the manufacture of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and ecstasy in a Batangas farm.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said that the discovery of the laboratory was made through the intelligence support provided by the Office of the National Narcotics Control Commission (ONNCC), Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, People's Republic of China to the PDEA.

"A tip-off from ONNCC was first relayed to PDEA International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs Service (ICFAS) that Chinese chemists are flying in and out of the country from September to October 2017," Aquino said.

A bilateral intelligence and investigation meeting between PDEA and delegates from the ONNCC was conducted on February 23, 2018 in the Philippines where the initial details of the joint operation were discussed.

The ONNCC delegates made a return trip to the country and stayed until the discovery of the shabu laboratory.

Aquino said one Chinese national believed to be the chemists' handler/manager returned to the country and went to Cebu City, from Guanzhou, China on February 24, 2018.

He took a ship to Manila where he reportedly visited a suspected shabu laboratory in La Union and stayed temporarily in Tagaytay City," he added

"Three more Chinese chemists arrived in Manila from Jinjiang, Fujian Province, China on March 6, 2018. Straight from the airport, they were fetched by the same guy, a Chinese national who also fetched the chemists' handler, and proceeded to Tagaytay City where the latter is staying," Aquino noted.

With the joint effort, two Chinese chemists identified as Tian Baoquan, and Guo Zixing; and their Filipino cohorts Eduardo Lorenzo, 59 years old, an electrician; Rosaleo Cesar, alias Leo, 49, a driver; and Amancio Gallarde, 40, an errand boy, were arrested by combined elements of PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIS) under Director Jigger Montallana, PDEA Special Enforcement Service (SES) under Director Levi Ortiz, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and local police.

The arrest was made following the implementation of a search warrant resulting in the discovery of a clandestine shabu laboratory in Hingoso Farm, Barangay Sto. Nino, Ibaan, Batangas on April 12, 2018 at around 6:00 a.m.

Also seized during the operation were large amounts of controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) used in the manufacture of shabu consisting of 1-phenyl -2 propanone, methylamine, acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium acetate, potassium iodate, sodium sulfate, tartaric acid, boric acid, methanol, ethanol and ammonium hydroxide; and safrole, a chemical used in the production of ecstasy, a party drug.

"The shabu laboratory has the capacity to produce 25 kilos or P125 million worth of shabu in one day," Aquino noted.

In a related operation, another Chinese chemist identified as Hong Dy, and Nestor Baguio, a Filipino driver, were apprehended by the same operating unit in Lipa, Batangas the same day.

"Hours later, a follow-up operation was immediately conducted by the same operating unit in Merry Homes, Barangay Francisco, Tagaytay City which led to the arrest of Xie Jiansheng, the Chinese organizer and handler of the arrested chemists, and the confiscation of 500 grams of suspected shabu worth P2.5 million," the PDEA chief said.

Seized pieces of drug evidence were brought to PDEA Laboratory Service for qualitative and quantitative examination, while the arrested suspects are presently in the custody of PDEA-IIS.

Chinese chemists Baoquan, Zixing, Dy and Jiansheng, who together put up the shabu laboratory, in collusion with their Filipino cohorts, are connected to the infamous "Golden Triangle"- notoriously known as the world's foremost drug-producing region operating near the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

Chinese intelligence reports revealed the shabu and ecstasy-producing laboratory was organized by a Hongkong-based drug kingpin/financier.

"On behalf of the PDEA and the Philippine government, I would like to express our gratitude to our Chinese counterparts for their intelligence support and cooperation as we vowed to protect our nations from the threat of illegal drugs," Aquino said.

A revitalized cooperation and collaboration between Chinese and Philippine drug law enforcement authorities after the state visit of President Duterte to China on October 16 to 21, 2016 came to fruition.

During the said visit, PDEA and ONNCC signed the Protocol On Cooperation on intelligence sharing and joint anti-drug operations.

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Title Annotation:Luzon
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 12, 2018
Words:717
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