POLICE on Wednesday seized an estimated 48 kilograms of cocaine worth P240 million found drifting off the shoreline of Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands, Police Regional Office 13 director Chief Supt. Gilbert DC Cruz said yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, the official said that members of the Cagdianao Municipal Police Station rushed to Sitio Habangan in Bgy. Poblacion, Cagdianao after getting a report from a local fisherman around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Cruz said that fisherman Gonie Curada informed the local police of the presence of vacuum-sealed packs with unknown substance which drifted ashore.
Initially, he said that policemen who responded to the site recovered 37 suspected cocaine blocks. The find rose to 48 blocks and Cruz said that as of press time, they are undertaking operations to recover another big volume of the drugs, with the help of the local populace.
Cruz appealed to local residents who may have found and hid the drugs to surrender them to the police since they would be facing charges for illegal possession of dangerous drugs in the event they yield the substance during follow-up operations.
It was the second major cocaine discovery in the country since last Sunday when more than a kilogram of suspected cocaine worth nearly P5.5 million floated in the waters of Vinzons, Camarines Norte and were discovered by two local fishermen who immediately reported their find to the police.
According to PRO5 director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, fishermen Alfredo Vega, 61; and his son Alfredo Jr. were fishing in the waters off Bgy. Sula when they saw a vacuum-sealed box floating in the sea.
The two immediately retrieved the box and turned it over to barangay captain Rose Marie Abogado, who, in turn informed the Vinzons Municipal Police Station of their discovery.
Local policemen who rushed to the site to investigate the mysterious box opened it and discovered its contents. When subjected to a test by the local Crime Laboratory, the substance tested positive for cocaine, with an estimated value of P5.438 million.
The Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency are jointly investigating the incident.
PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Bernard Banac commended the fishermen who found the drugs. “We would like to commend the good deeds of those fishermen who showed what the citizenry can do to help us address the drug problem in the country,” Banac said.