In the wake of the recovery of cocaine in E. Samar

COCAINE RECOVERY. Police authorities are appealing to the public to surrender any items that are suspected to be illegal substance amid the recovery of 20 bricks of cocaine in Arteche, Eastern Samar on March 8. The fisherman who recovered the contraband while he was fishing was rewarded of P30,000 by the police and additional P50,000 from the Arteche municipal government headed by Mayor Roland Boie Evardone. (PHOTO COURTESY)

BORONGAN CITY – The Police authorities in Eastern Visayas are urging residents of Eastern Samar province, especially in the coastal areas, to report and turn over any items that they recovered and suspected as illegal substances.

Authorities made this appeal after the recovery of 20 bricks of cocaine in the coastal waters of Arteche by a fisherman, Samuel Dalimpapas, on Friday (March 8) and was immediately reported by the municipal government to the Eastern Samar Police Provincial Office Provincial Director PCol Jose Manuel Payos for safekeeping and confirmatory testing.
The PRO8 had already coordinated with the PNP Maritime Police and the Philippine Coast Guard to be on the lookout for the possible recovery of more cocaine bricks floating in the coastal water of Eastern Samar.

“Rest assured that the PNP is doing everything kahit naman lang sa pag recover because that is what we can do now. Marecover lang sana lahat,” PRO8 Deputy Director for Administration PBGen Owen Andarino, hinting that there could be more packs of cocaine floating in the waters in Samar which faces the Pacific Ocean, the most common route of foreign ships.

“The whole PNP is sending appreciation sa fisherman na hindi man lang nag dalawang isip na nung makita, of course may idea na siya, kasi hindi lang ito ang first time, na nung makita niya I turn over ito sa authorities,” PBGen Andarino added.

It is not clear yet how the packs of cocaine were found floating in the waters of Barangay Tangbo in Arteche though the police claimed that these could come from a possible drug cartel operating in Mexico due to the ‘ZZZ markings’ on the items which were wrapped in two plastic bags.

The ZZZ markings are associated with Los Zetas, one of the most notorious drug cartels in Mexico. Los Zetas is the Spanish equivalent of letter Z.

Arteche Mayor Roland Boie Evardone, for his part, also expressed his appreciation to Dalimpapas who did not think twice in surrendering the contraband which had a commercial value of P111.85 million, weighing 21,195 grams.

“We are proud of him. It just goes to show that he trusts us, he trust the village officials, he trusts the local government, he trusts the PNP, and to the government as whole,” Mayor Evardone said.

As a reward, PBGen Andarino turned over cash from the PRO8 to the fisherman worth P30,000, while the municipal government of Arteche is just awaiting a resolution from the municipal council commending Dalimpapas which includes a P50,000 cash reward.

“We are appealing to the people to help us recover this illegal substance. Don’t hesitate to approach me, the barangay captain, and the PNP and drug enforcement unit. We will support and protect you. This is for the betterment not only for us but also for our future generations,” Mayor Evardone added.

This is not the first time that cocaine bricks have been recovered in the coastal waters of Eastern Samar.

A total of 235 bricks of cocaine was recovered in seawater of the towns of Llorente, San Policarpo, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Sulat, Dolores, Salcedo, Mercedes, Arteche, Taft, and Borongan City from December 2009 to January 2010 worth P235 million.

In 2018, a total of 25 bricks were recovered in Sulangan and Homonhon in Guiuan town worth more than P31 million.(ROEL T. AMAZONA/ROBERT DEJON)