Binay urges Makati condo owners to implement security measures vs illegal drugs

MANILA-- In support to President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs, Makati Mayor Abby Binay called on owners and managers of condominium buildings in the city to exercise due diligence in accepting tenants and strictly implement security measures to prevent illegal drug activities from taking place within their premises.

The mayor issued the statement in the wake of media reports that authorities allegedly seized some PHP2 million worth of shabu, ecstasy pills and some drug paraphernalia in a raid conducted Monday night at a high-end condominium unit in Brgy. Bel-Air, Makati City.

This incident should serve as a wake-up call to landlords and managers of private condominiums in Makati. I hope you will now be more thorough in screening prospective tenants to ensure that they are law-abiding citizens. It would also be prudent to implement tighter security measures in your buildings, such as a surveillance system that can promptly detect and monitor suspicious activities, the lady mayor said in a statement on Wednesday.

She noted that aside from their duty to ensure the safety of all tenants, they should also keep in mind that the reputation of their business is at stake. In your line of business, trust is of paramount importance to clients. Any hint of involvement in criminal activities, especially illegal drugs, would make current and prospective tenants feel less secure, she stressed.

According to reports, operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted a raid on Monday night at the condominium unit, subsequently identified by Barangay Bel-Air sources as Unit 841, Tower D of Jazz Residences. The authorities were reportedly greeted with toxic fumes when they entered the unit.

The reports also stated that the tenant of the raided condo unit, identified as one Joan Cuachon, was arrested last Friday in a buy-bust operation. The suspect allegedly tested positive in a drug test, and is now in the custody of PDEA after inquest.

PDEA chief Archie Grande was also quoted as having cited the possibility that they caught a big-time pusher because they found a large weighing scale and self-sealing plastic which indicate that the suspect may be disposing of large amounts of shabu (methamphethamine hydrochloride).

Grande said that confiscated during the operation conducted by operative of PDEA Regional Office 4A (PDEA RO4A) at the vicinity of Tower D Jazz Residences in Nicanor Garcia Street, Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City were one piece of self-sealing plastic bag containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu weighing more or less 500 grams with an estimated value of PHP2.5 million two pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet of suspected shabu weighing more or less .20 gram with an estimated value of PHP1,000, and one piece of small brown envelope with a self-sealing plastic sachet inside containing a white powdery substance suspected to be a cocaine weighing more or less one gram with an estimated value of Php6,000.

Cases for violation of Section 5 (Selling of Illegal Drugs) Article II of RA 9165, otherwise known as The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed in court against Cuachon.

Binay lauded PDEA and PNP for their continuing crackdown against the illegal drug trade, and reiterated her administration's 'zero tolerance policy' on illegal drugs.

We are serious about making Makati a drug-free city. While we are thankful for the vigilance of the police and PDEA, we also would like to remind our barangay officials that they are our first line of defense against the drug menace. Please, be consistently watchful of your communities and ensure that the drug trade does not flourish right in your midst, she said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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