Where are the 18 crates?

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The 604 kilos of shabu were shipped in solid metal cylinders from China.

THIS WILL BE SHORT. I’ve only got some advice to share: No matter how annoying Harry Roque is, don’t let him distract you.

A lot of what he says has the power to raise your blood pressure, but not much else. It’s largely opinion, mostly his own, and it’s actually irrelevant. As the presidential spokesman, his job is to speak for the president, not to push his own agenda and then say “the president agrees with me.” That smacks of hubris, and any boss worth his salt would fire such a presumptuous mouthpiece ora mismo. Duterte, of course, is another matter. He tends to choose surrogates with the maximum capacity to irritate. It must be the Fentanyl.

Even so; don’t let Roque get under your skin. Don’t let him or the other DDS minions steal your attention. Don’t let their smokescreens get you shadow-boxing. It’ll only sap your energy, and you’ll need it to sue this regime for the real crimes taking place.

IT’S NOT JUST P6.4 B

Take one in particular: Where are the 18 crates of smuggled shabu?

You know what I mean – the 18 crates that were part of the shipment brokered by Mark Taguba, Manny Li and Kenneth Dong that passed undetected through the BOC Green Lane last May and partly ended up in the Hongfei Logistics warehouse in Valenzuela.  The one that Taguba said was negotiated by the mysterious Tita Nanie, who is nowhere to be found and “eludes” even our top investigative agencies.

Only 5 crates were discovered in that raid in Valenzuela, but a total of 23 were listed in the bill of lading. In one of the hearings conducted by the Lower House last August, PBA party list representative Jericho Nograles pointed out:

“The bill of lading of the 40-footer container declared a net weight of 12.7 metric tons. The BoC can only account for 600 kgs of Shabu and give or take 1.4 tons of packaging. Where is the rest of the 10 tons?”

Yes, indeed, where are they?

It’s interesting that some days before that hearing, a raid was conducted on a townhouse in Sampaloc, Manila which yielded 3 crates containing metal cylinders similar to those found in Valenzuela. Upon inspection, only several plastic bags and shabu residue were discovered in the cylinders. The contents, presumably 120 kg of shabu per cylinder, are probably out on the streets.

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At a raid in a townhouse along Maceda Street in Sampaloc, Manila on Thursday, August 10, 2017, NBI agents try to open a metal cylinder believed to have contained illegal drugs, but when opened it only contained several empty plastic bags and shabu residues. (Photo: Danny Pata/GMANewsTV)

Caretaker Fidel Anoche Dee, so far the only individual in this fiasco who has been arrested, testified at a House hearing that there had been 3 previous shipments to his sister’s house in Valenzuela which had been rented by two Taiwanese men. They contained crates of similar dimensions to those found in Sampaloc and the Hongfei warehouse.

Considering this pattern, Nograles is right to surmise that the purported 18 crates of shabu with a street value of P23 B have been unpacked and their contents peddled nationwide. He said:

“I don’t think this is a coincidence. There is no way that the contents of the other 18 crates out of the 23 crates declared in the bill of lading would be different from the crates that were discovered in Valenzuela and now in Sampaloc, Manila. This only confirms my position that the five crates discovered in Valenzuela were part of a bigger shipment that managed to get through BoC’s green lane,”

The question is, “Where are they?” For me, though, the bigger question is, “Who got them?”‘

ASK THE QUESTIONS

There were several leads presented at the Senate hearings that were not properly followed up. Besides the Tita Nanie riddle, there was the matter of the tattoo on Paolo Duterte’s back that is supposedly a mark of his membership and rank in a Chinese triad. There was also the question of Manases Carpio’s business in the Bureau of Customs that caused him to visit then Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on several instances. These were areas of interest that should have been explored more fully; but Blue Ribbon Committee chair Dick Gordon in his draft report firmly closed that door, saying there was “not enough evidence” to warrant a fuller look.

Why did Gordon do that? I’ve asked this before and my readers have chided me for naiveté. Yes, readers, like you, I can guess why. But the question must be asked to hold him to account, because if these crimes are not properly prosecuted, Gordon will be significantly to blame.

What I’ve laid out here isn’t new. We have been looking at these facts for months. The NBI and PDEA have been tasked to investigate this and arrest the flow of drugs into the country. Thousand have died in this regime’s heinous war on drugs whose warriors have no qualms about “neutralizing” the small and poor but are extremely squeamish with the president’s son. Again I ask, why?

We must keep asking the simple questions because they demand simple answers. The truth is uncomplicated, but it can be unrelenting. Don’t let yourselves get sidetracked by Harry Roque’s baiting. His own party list wants him evicted; his 15 minutes may soon be up. Instead, let’s focus on deeper issues and ask the questions that pierce: “Where is Tita Nanie?” “Where are the 18 crates?” “Why not show the tattoo?” “Why not sign the waiver?” “Whose interests is this regime protecting?” “Who is the puppetmaster behind the throne?” “When will enough be enough?”

“See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day has come,
the time for you to be punished.
The arrogant one will stumble and fall
and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
that will consume all who are around her.”

– Jeremiah 50:31-32

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