An online appeal has been exposed in the social media asking for the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) to conduct a public inquiry to further investigate the establishment of the shabu laboratory in Palta Small, Virac, Catanduanes.
The discovery of the clandestine shabu laboratory last November 26, 2016 wreaked havoc in the province that caused uproar not only within the locality but also nationally.
Law enforcers found equipment that is believed to produce methampethamine hydrochloride or shabu inside the warehouse that serves as the shabu laboratory.
Efforts of the Philippine National Police and some local officials to apprehend the suspects came to nothing as the alleged shabu lab operator Paolo Gonzales Uy escaped the premises just before the authorities took its action.
The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs recently conducted its own investigation in the province through the House Resolution 585 on Directing the Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, Office of Transport Security, Land Transportation Office, and other Government Agencies to Intensify and Coordinate their Efforts to Suppress the Trafficking of Illegal Drugs within the Country, authored by Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento, Chairman of The Committee on Transportation, to seek clarifications on the issues regarding the shabu lab and to suppress illegal drugs in the country.
During the house investigation it was learned that there had been lapses to the reports of the PNP, however the public did not appear to be contented with the outcome of the inquiry that probed other matters aside from the main concern.
Though there are issues that linked Governor Cua and Mayor Laynes to the shabu lab and have been subjected to public inquest, the petition about questioning government officials from previous administration and other individuals involved for the establishment of the shabu lab should also be conducted to gain clarity in the said issue, noting that former Virac Mayor, Flerida Alberto’s residence is 300 meters away from the warehouse and should have knowledge of its construction plying her authority to issue a permit to construct the building.
The petition also seeks to hear an explanation from the former Governor Araceli Wong as well as former Vice Governor Jose “Bong” Joson Teves on the establishment of the clandestine laboratory sometime in September 2015 until its completion in March 2016, a few months before their term ended. Incumbent Congressman Cesar Vergara Sarmiento is also alleged to have excluded names of specific persons involved during the House probe.
Atty. Eric Isidoro and his common-law wife, Ms. Angelica Balmadrid the alleged owner of the property where the shabu lab is located are likewise urged to give their side.
The online petition asserts that there was also gross negligence on the part of the previous administration.