November 29, 2023
BIGGEST SHABU HAUL —  The seizure of P575 kilos of shabu worth P4 billion from a Chinese national inside a rented apartment in Irisan, Baguio City on March 29 by composite government forces is the biggest illegal drug haul in a single operation in the Cordillera in decades. Interior and Local Government Sec. Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., ranking law enforcement and anti-narcotics officers, and Mayor Benjamin Magalong visited the site to witness the inventory of the contraband. — Ofelia C. Empian

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has assured the public that Baguio City is only a storage, not a major distribution area of illegal drugs, following the seizure of 575 kilos of suspected shabu worth P4 billion at Purok 4, Irisan, Baguio on March 29. 
In a press conference following his and other ranking police and anti-narcotics officials’ inspection of the site where the contraband was seized, Abalos said authorities are looking at the angle that a syndicate might be planning to establish locations on where to ply their trade.
“This will be distributed sa iba’t ibang lugar at dahil sa nangyayaring ito, apektado ang buong bansa kung kaya’t ito ang focus ng pamahalaan. This is the war on drugs. Sanib-pwersa ang lahat,” Abalos added, citing intelligence reports.
The suspected shabu seized inside a rented apartment were placed in a tea packaging with Chinese markings weighing about one kilogram each.
The suspect, a Chinese identified as Ming Hui a.k.a. “Tan”, 51, was arrested during the implementation of a search warrant issued by Judge Rufus Gayo Malecdan, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio Branch 60.
Abalos said Ming was under surveillance for sometime and investigation is ongoing as to his link to drug syndicates in the country. He lauded the operatives who led the operation.
He said the DILG is monitoring the performance of every police regional and provincial director, especially in relation to the drug war.
He said authorities are also being alerted about other illegal drug suspects through the help of the barangay and municipal anti-drug abuse councils, which are also being strengthened. 
He said the operation was part of supply reduction program of the government. The supply reduction implemented is hand-in-hand with demand reduction through continuous education about the ill-effects of drugs especially to the young generation. 
Abalos witnessed the inventory of the seized pieces of evidence along with PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, M/Gen. Jonnel Estomo; National Capital Region Police Office Director M/Gen. Edgar Okubo; Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong; and Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director B/Gen. David Peredo, Jr.
The operation was conducted by the Police Regional Office Cordillera; NCRPO; PNP Drug Enforcement Group, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the National Bureau of Investigation.
The PRO-Cor said the P4B illegal drug operation is the biggest shabu drug haul in a single operation in the region in decades.
The suspect is now under the custody of BCPO Irisan Police Station for documentation while charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 are now being prepared against him. – Ofelia C. Empian