4 Chinese, 4 Filipinos arrested in Batangas drug raids

BATANGAS CITY, Philippines – Eight people, including 4 Chinese nationals, were arrested in a drug raids conducted in different areas in Batangas, on Thursday, April 12.

Joint elements of  the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) discovered a shabu laboratory inside a warehouse in Hingoso Farm in Barangay Sto Niño, Ibaan, when they raided the place at 6 am on Thursday. 

Two Chinese nationals, chemists Tian Baoquan and Guo Zixing, were arrested in the Ibaan lab, along with  Eduardo Lorenzo, electrician; Rosalio Cesar, driver; and errand boy Amancio Gallarde.

Another Chinese chemist, Hong Dy, and Nestor Baguio, a Filipino driver, were apprehended by the same team in Lipa City the same day.

The team also conducted a raid in Barangay Francisco in Tagaytay City, leading to the arrest of another Chinese national, Xie Jiansheng. Xie is "the Chinese organizer and handler of the arrested chemists," said Aquino.

According to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, the shabu lab in Ibaan has a capacity to produce 25 kilos of shabu per day, with a street value of P125 million.

"'Yung mga flask may Chinese characters pero 'yung chemical posibleng locally-produced na hindi kasama sa mga ipinagbabawal sa ilalim ng RA 9165 pero isasailalim pa din sa laboratory examination," Aquino added. 

(The flask have Chinese characters but the chemicals are possibly locally-produced and not included in the list of illegal [substances] under RA 9165 but will still be subjected to laboratory examination).

Republic Act 9165 is the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

PDEA spokesman Director Derrick Carreon said they conducted a surveillance on the location for almost 7 months after receiving information from the Office of the National Narcotics Control Commission of the Ministry of Public Security of China. 

“A tip-off from ONNCC was first relayed to PDEA International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs Service that Chinese chemists are flying in and out of the country from September to October 2017,” Aquino said.

The PDEA chief said that one Chinese national believed to be the Chinese chemists' handler returned to the country via Cebu City from Guanzhou, China on February 24. “He took a ship to Manila where he reportedly visited a suspected shabu laboratory in La Union and stayed temporarily in Tagaytay City,” he said.

PDEA cited Chinese intelligence reports that "the shabu and ecstasy-producing laboratory was organized by a Hong Kong-based drug kingpin/financier." – Rappler.com