Authorities have yet to determine if the P68-million shabu stash found inside a vehicle in Allen, Northern Samar earlier this week was being transported to Bohol.
The illegal drugs were intercepted on Tuesday at a police-manned checkpoint in Barangay Jubasan and were found inside a Toyota Vios registered to a Bohol resident.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) VIII spokesperson Rogellete Urgel told the Chronicle that the driver of the vehicle who was identified as Mangayao Mitomara claimed that he was bound for Mindanao.
However, they are not discounting the possibility that the contraband was on its way to another destination including Bohol.
“Ongoing pa ang investigation kung sino yung source at saan talaga papunta ang drugs kasi galing siya sa Luzon,” said Urgel.
Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Col. Lorenzo Batuan who confirmed that the vehicle was indeed registered to a Boholano also acknowledged the possibility that the drugs were intended to be shipped to Bohol.
“Di nato ma discount ang possibility na ari to padung kay based sa information na nakuha gikan ang sakyanan sa Manila although ingon siya na para sa Marawi siya [driver] naa gihapoy posibilidad na ari siya nato padung,” said Batuan.
Earlier, Dauis Vice Mayor Miriam Sumaylo had admitted that the person pertained to as the owner of the vehicle is her relative by affinity, Zaldy Sumaylo.
She however clarified that the vehicle was repossessed by Global Dominion Financing Incorporated in 2019 and was no longer under Zaldy’s name since then.
“Zaldy Sumaylo from Songkulan, Dauis paryente sa among pamilya. Seaman siya og last Jan. 7 pa ninaog gikan sa barko. Mga professional ang mga anak. Karon pa lang nagchat nako ang iyang anak na Nurse,” Sumaylo said in a statement.
“Year 2019 pa giimbargo sa Global Dominion ang sakyanan. Ug gipablotter na ang hitabo. Himuan og legal action para pagprotect sa name sa biktima,” she added.
Meanwhile, Batuan noted that they have further intensified patrols at entry points of the province to prevent the entry of contraband particularly illegal drugs.
He said they are planning to acquire more sniffing dogs which will be deployed in ports across the island.
“Kaning pag secure nato sa atong mga ports planohon pa ni nato in coordination with the coast guard,” he added.
In a an earlier interview with state-run Philippine News Agency, Urgel confirmed that Eastern Visayas’ nautical highway is being used as a transshipment point for illegal drugs intended for other regions. (A. Doydora)