China praises own customs office for intercepting shabu haul in PH

MANILA, Philippines – China praised its own customs bureau on Tuesday, September 26, for intercepting 604 kilograms of shabu that had been smuggled into the Philippines, saying that this move deserves praise anywhere in the world. 

In a statement Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in the Philippines provided the following timeline of events in the case the 604 kilos of shabu smuggled into the country:

"The action took place after working hours, and the whole process took less than 4 hours," the Chinese embassy said.

"This kind of law enforcement cooperation efficiency ensures the success of this action, and shall be praised no matter where in the world," the embassy added.

China issued this statement as the smuggling of P604 kilos of shabu, worth P6.4 billion ($126 million), is the subject of a Philippine Senate investigation. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, has been implicated in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China, even as he dismissed such accusations as hearsay.  

Senator Richard Gordon earlier said that "the shabu problem begins with China and ends with China." Gordon and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua met this month about the issue, but did not disclose the things they discussed. 

Weeks after Gordon made these remarks, China in its statement Tuesday criticized "distorted reports" about China's involvement in drug control. 

China said these false reports "have a  negative effect on deepening China-Philippines cooperation in drug control." 

This too "will hold back the elimination of the drug problem, the two countries' relations and the fundamental interests of the people in our region."

China then reiterated that the illegal drug trade "is human beings' common enemy," and that it implements a "zero-tolerance attitude toward drugs in and out of China." 

China said it hopes that "the multinational drug gangs will feel strong pressure" as Manila and Beijing work together against illegal drugs. –

*$1 = P50.78

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at