February 9, 2023

Pandemic or not, imported illegal drugs are still able to enter city borders.
Last Aug. 12, government agents arrested the claimant of a package with declared content of bed sheets, children’s pencils, and a pair of shoes.
The package arrived at the NAIA-Central Mail Exchange Center last July 13.
The operating agents were from the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NIADITG) and the Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force (CAIDTF).
Unknown to the claimant, the BOC has discovered the package contained illegal drugs initially discovered during a non-intrusive X-ray, then by K9 drug-sniffing dogs, and confirmed when physically checked by a customs examiner on July 14.
The package contained 1,783 tablets in assorted colors worth P3,031,100 hidden between the bed sheets.
The tablets also underwent chemical analysis, which showed that these are methy-lenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) commonly known as “ecstasy” classified as a dangerous drug under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The BOC, PDEA-Cordillera, IADITG, and CAIDTF then organized a “controlled delivery” operation in Baguio City where the package was supposed to be delivered.
At 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, a certain Elisa Millare, representative of Joyce Ann San Antonio, the supposed recipient of the package, claimed the item.
Millare was immediately arrested by agents of the four agencies and was taken into custody for investigation and eventual inquest prosecution for violation of RA 9165 in relation to sections 119 and 1401 of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
In a press statement, the BOC said it remains committed in pursuing its mandate of strengthening border protection and stop all attempts to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.
The BOC said the recent operation serves as a warning to all individuals and entities engaged in unscrupulous activities the Bureau and other law enforcement agencies will continue to protect the nation against illegal importations and ensure that violators of law will be held accountable. – Rimaliza A. Opiña