The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has directed its units to hunt down ships smuggling illegal drugs into the country via the seas off northern Luzon.
This came following reports that the coast of northern Luzon are frequented by floating shabu laboratories.
PCG spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said their personnel and K-9 units will flag down and inspect suspicious vessels in the region.
Three PCG ships are currently in charge of patrolling the coast of northern Luzon for illegal fishing and are on alert for suspicious vessels.
According to Balilo, PCG Admiral William Melad also directed the search and rescue vessel (SARV) BRP Nueva Vizcaya to temporarily join the operation.
Balio said BRP Nueva Vizcaya’s mandate to conduct sovereignty patrol at the West Philippine Sea is temporarily halted due to strong waves caused by typhoon Dindo.
Last July, a 50-meter fish carrier vessel that allegedly served as a floating shabu lab was seized by authorities along the coast of Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales. Four Chinese from Hong Kong were arrested in the operation. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)