MANILA Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino on Thursday insisted that the four magnetic lifters found in a Cavite warehouse contained a ton of shabu (crystal meth) despite negative results from swab testing.
During the inquiry of the House committee on dangerous drugs on the PHP6.8-billion alleged shabu smuggling, Aquino said swabbing is not a 100 percent measure to detect the presence of illegal drugs.
"It doesn't mean that if you swab something and it's negative, there's no drugs there," Aquino said.
When further asked by Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo if he is convinced that the four magnetic lifters did contain illegal drugs, Aquino replied, "Yes, sir. They contained illegal drugs."
During the last hearing, Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Isidro LapeAa said they conducted a swab testing for the presence of illegal drugs on the magnetic lifters, which yielded a negative result.
"The four pieces of magnetic lifters, including the aluminum foils in the area, were swabbed and examined for its possible presence of shabu but this yielded negative result for the presence of dangerous drugs," LapeAa said during the August 14 hearing.
Aquino, however, said drug-sniffing dogs detected drugs in the four magnetic lifters.
He was particularly confident in the K-9 dog named Odel saying it "will never be wrong" in its detection and has achieved a lot of accomplishments. "Definitely we believe in our K-9."
The PDEA K-9 unit conducted sweeping operation, which yielded positive response twice from the K-9.
Aquino earlier claimed that the empty magnetic lifters found in Cavite were similar to the two magnetic lifters seized at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last August 7 with 355 kg. of shabu estimated to be worth about PHP2.4 billion.
Based on the comparison of the magnetic lifters recovered at MICP and in Cavite as presented by PDEA, the key similarities are found in the cabling, power supply, method of concealment, and size of holes. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency