Batocabe says involvement of local execs in Catanduanes drug lab is ‘mind-boggling’

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AKO-Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe has seconded his colleague’s suspicion that the mega-shabu laboratory discovered in Virac, Catanduanes last November 26 enjoyed the protection of local officials.

“Yes. The involvement of local officials and enforcement authorities are mind-boggling,” said Batocabe Tuesday, February 28.

“The mere fact that no big fish was caught in an operation which was supposed to be a surprise raid definitely calls for an in depth investigation,” he noted.

Five days ago, the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs conducted a public hearing at the Catanduanes State University auditorium on the matter of the shabu laboratory, which has brought great same to Bicol.

Following the hearing, Committee Chairman, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Barbers commented that the lab’s maintainers and operators led by one Jason Gonzales Uy and three Chinese chemists appeared to have been ” extended protection by certain authorities from Catanduanes.”

“The mega shabu lab was constructed without appropriate barangay and town clearance or permits, was provided power by the local electric cooperative without clearance from the local Bureau of Fire office, and the police and local authorities failed to detect it for over a year,” Barbers said.

The Virac lab reportedly produced 9.6 tons of shabu a month, promoting it to be described by police as the largest such facility ever found.

Batocabe underscored the importance of getting to the bottom of the lab’s operations.

“Otherwise if we just ignore the Catanduanes case, we will surely lose our war against drugs,” he said. #