BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte wants the large haul of high-grade cocaine found secretly stuffed inside a reefer van in a banana-loading wharf to be burned right here in Davao City and not brought to Manila where it would be in danger of falling into the hands of drug syndicates.
I will not allow it to get out of Davao, Duterte told reporters even as the search for 8 bricks missing from the cache of 64 1-kilo cocaine bricks continues.
When it reaches Manila, that drug will go around in circulation, said Duterte in a hint the burning of the illegal drugs here would abort any attempt to spirit it out which could happen if the cocaine bricks are sent to Manila authorities.
The discovery of the drugs — 64 bricks with 8 missing — inside a Maersk refrigerated container at the Sumifro Wharf is the second in the city believed by authorities as being used as transshipment point by international drug syndicates.
In 2009, authorities also discovered from a Maersk van a smaller haul of cocaine stuffed in several containers’ air-conditioning vents.
Duterte said he is now coordinating with Davao City Police Office director Vicente Danao Jr. and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11 director Emerson Rosales on the immediate disposal of the cocaine bricks with an estimated value of P300 million.