MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Eleven kilos of shabu contained in 11 packs were recovered by the Philippine Army in one of the conflict areas in Marawi, the Joint Task Force Marawi reported.
The packs of shabu were presented by TF Marawi to the media at a press conference at the Provincial Capitol here on Monday, June 19.
TF Marawi spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera said the packs of shabu were recovered on Sunday evening, June 18 after an encounter with members of Maute Group.
Herrera refused to specify the exact area inside the conflict-ridden Marawi.
He said that the contrabands were already examined by concerned authorities and were confirmed as high-grade shabu.
The total value of the recovered shabu range from P110 to P250 million, Herrera added.
The government troopers also recovered high-powered firearms believed to be left behind by members of the Maute group who fled after the intense fighting.
Army Captain Eric Estribillo, chief of the civil-military operations of the 49thInfantry Battalion involved during the ground operations on Sunday said the contrabands were recovered in a house where the Maute group held their position.
After hours of fighting, Maute members retreated and military forces were able to penetrate the house, Estribillo said.
The packs of shabu were recovered in the kitchen area of the said house sealed inside a bag.
Drug paraphernalia is also recovered from the house, an indication that Maute members were using shabu, Estribillo said.
Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey, commander of Task Force Ranao also told reporters that soldiers account of seeing Maute fighters high on drugs during the firefight.
When asked about the possible presence of shabu laboratory in the area, Rey said civilians have been reporting to the military of laboratory presence but they are still validating the facts.
He said the Maute group encountered by government forces in the subject house are suspected distributors of illegal drugs to other members who are on the frontlines.
The recovery of high-grade shabu is considered by authorities as one of the highlights in its continuing ground operations against the ISIS-linked Maute group.
Herrera said fuel bombs made of gasoline in bottle containers were also recovered by government troopers in the area.
“Our soldiers find fuel bombs in every Maute stronghold recovered. They use these locally-made bombs against our troopers who are pushing towards their positions. Fuel bombs are also used by Maute members to burn houses and establishments,” Herrera pointed out.
He also admitted that fuel bombs could also damage armored personnel carriers and endanger the lives of ground troops. (davaotoday.com)