CAMP Olivas, Pampanga -- A Chinese suspect living inside the shabu mega laboratory in Bgy. Lacquios, Arayat town, was captured while he was trying to jump over the high fence at the back of the compound last Thursday.
Arayat chief of police Supt. Samuel Sevilla yesterday said they were able to catch Hong Hong Wenzheng, 39, native of Fukien, China, as he was about to climb a ladder to go over the concrete fence.
Hong’s four other Chinese companions, who jumped ahead of him, were able to escape, Sevilla said.
“But we will not stop until we find them. Hahanapin namin sila kahit sa magubat na kabundukan para mahuli sila,” he said.
Sevilla said Hong was in the Arayat municipal police as of press time yesterday and would be transported to San Fernando where charges would be filed against him.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, director of the Police Regional Office 3, commended his men for capturing the Chinese suspect and for disabling the mega shabu lab, which is the biggest to be discovered in the country.
Pampanga police director Senior Supt. Rodolfo Recomono Jr. on Thursday said occupants of the secret drug facility fled to different directions after seeing the arrival of police officers.
An official report said that combined agents of the Arayat Municipal Police Station, the Municipal Health Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 3, the Pampanga police and Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group inspected different piggery farms in Bgy. San Juan Banio in Arayat town at 10 a.m. Thursday, leading to the discovery of the abandoned drug factory.
PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña has ordered a thorough investigation into the discovery of the abandoned drug lab in Pampanga which was the latest made by authorities in the wake of President Duterte’s all-out war against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
The biggest illegal drug facility could make 100 kilos of shabu daily.
Recomono said the multi-million-peso apparatus and machineries were found inside a high-fenced compound in remote Bgy. Lacquios, this town.
The place is reachable through five kilometers of rough-road travel from the main road at the boundaries of Magalang and this town.
The shabu laboratory was discovered by a team, led by Arayat Mayor Bon Alejandrino, who went to the place to conduct sanitary and fire inspection.
“May mga impormasyon tayo na labas-masok sa compound na ito na may mataas na gate at bakod ang mga iba’t ibang bagong mga sasakyan. Kaya nagpasya tayo na i-check ito dahil baka may illegal activities sa loob. In line ito sa marching order nina Gov. Lilia Pineda at Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda nai-inspect lahat ng piggery at poultries,” he said.
As Alejandrino and his team were knocking on the gate, they saw two Chinese-looking men ran and jumped over the back portion of the fence towards the bushy parts of the remote village.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 3 (PDEA-3) chemists and staff made an inventory of the machines and equipment found in the compound.
PDEA-3 spokesperson Glen Guillermo said the equipment include one combustion tower set, one yellow motor star diesel generator, one blue industrial chiller, one set of power controller, seven industrial distillation setup, and one reaction mixer.
Recomono said a gas chromatograph machine used in testing the purity of shabu was also found and is now under the custody of the police crime laboratory.
“Ang gas chromatograph ang pinagte-test ng finished product. Itong shabu laboratory na ito can manufacture 100 kilos or more of shabu daily. Mas malaki ito kaysa du’n sa na-discover na shabu lab sa Camiling, Tarlac, a few years ago,” he said.
Although no shabu or any substance used in making the illegal drug was found in the coumpound, Recomono said it seems the apparatus were already operated for a dry-run manufacturing.
Police are still trying to identify the persons who are leasing the area.
It was learned that a year ago, someone went to the municipal hall here to apply for a piggery permit for the compound. But that person did not return for the approval of the permit.
With Alfred Dalizon