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‘Revilla’s son’, pal yield P24-M drugs

By MARTIN A. SADONGDONG

Two persons, one of them claiming to be a son of former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., were arrested by authorities Sunday night after attempting to sneak into the country P24 million worth of regulated drugs for ulcer and abortion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City.

Reuben Bautista, who introduced himself as the son of Revilla Sr. and brother of detained Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., of Cavite; and Glen Mor Gaddi, of Pampanga, both legal age, underwent inquest proceedings at the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office around 12 p.m. yesterday before Assistant City Prosecutor Ju-haree Tolentino.

Tolentino’s office said the document would be produced “later within the day.”

The suspects were the subject of an intelligence report from the US Drug Enforcement Agency as relayed to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). They were arrested by Customs officials after arriving at NAIA Terminal 3 around 11:05 p.m. through Singapore Airlines flight SQ 918.

Authorities seized three luggage of the suspects containing about 100,000 pieces of Misoprostol, an unregistered drug product used to treat ulcer and also to induce labor and abortion for pregnant women. They are being sold under the brand name Cytotec.

Authorities placed the value of the confiscated drugs at P24 million. The suspects did not have necessary permits from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when they carried the drugs.

According to the FDA, a regulated drug, one of the two types of “dangerous drugs,” is a type of drug normally legal or prescribed. The other type is “prohibited drugs.”

The suspects presented a Customs declaration form, saying they were not carrying any regulated drugs in their luggage and passed through the “Nothing to Declare” lane, unaware that they were already under surveillance.

When arrested, Bautista claimed he was related to the Revillas but the arresting officers went on to apprehend him and his companion.

The suspects were charged with smuggling.

Authorities said they have yet to verify whether Bautista is a relative of the Revillas.

According to the FDA, “the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale distribution, of transfer of any drug or device which is not registered with the FDA is considered a violation of R.A. 3720 as amended otherwise known as the Food, Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics Act.”

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