Monday, February 26, 2024

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Lapeña now believes magnetic lifters contained shabu

MANILA — Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Wednesday said he is now convinced that the four magnetic lifters found in a Cavite warehouse contained illegal drugs.

This, after the testimony of a Department of Public Works and Highways official who said the magnetic lifters were designed to carry certain cargoes.

During a House inquiry into the PHP6.8-billion shabu (crystal meth) smuggling, DPWH Director Toribio Ilao said the nature of the lifters may be intended to carry contraband and not heavy materials.

“I will tend to believe that indeed, may laman ‘yan sir (there was something inside),” Lapeña told the House panel.

In a separate interview, he said the lifters did contain shabu.

The BOC earlier claimed that no shabu was found in the containers, after these tested negative for illegal drugs.

Deputy Customs Collector Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang, during the same hearing, said the X-ray images indicate that something was inside the magnetic lifters.

Further citing her experience as a “seasoned investigator”, Mangaoang alleged that the containers were packed with shabu based on testimonies and other evidence presented in the Senate blue ribbon committee inquiry, to which she was invited as an “expert witness.”

“Based on the investigation conducted by PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and based on the documentary, physical, and testimonial evidence which were presented before the Senate and as a seasoned investigator… on the basis of my other experiences, ang sinasabi ko po shabu ang laman niyan (what I’m trying to say is that the lifters contained shabu),” said Mangaoang, a former X-ray division chief of the BOC. ( Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)

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