The Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, the biggest drug trafficking syndicate in the world, made its way to the Philippines because of measly manpower and intelligence services, a former cop turned lawmaker said on Friday.
Rep. Romeo Acop of Antipolo City, who served as the Chief Superintendent of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the Ramos administration, made the pronouncement in connection with the seizure of 84 kilos of Shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth P420 million by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Lipa City, Batangas on Christmas day. It was later found to be an operation of Sinaloa drug syndicate.
“Syndicates always conceal their nefarious activities. The problem is not having enough capable men to secure a large area and a big number of population,” Acop said in a text message.
The Sinaloa drug cartel tops the list of the world’s five biggest drug cartels per renowned British newspaper the Guardian, describing the Mexican organized crime group as a smuggler of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in at least 12 countries, mainly the United States.
Sinaloa is headed by Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo” or “Shorty”, who escaped in a Mexican prison in 2001 thru a laundry box. El Chapo is regarded by the American authorities as the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
“The PNP should modernize intelligence systems…prioritize the procurement of needed equipment to improve on information gathering techniques, have training courses on intelligence work, interlocking and coordination between intelligence gathering and investigation,” Acop pointed out.
The PNP forces already arrested three suspects linked to Sinaloa drug cartel. Of the three, two are Filipinos while one is a Filipino-Chinese.
“Likewise, the PNP should enlist the cooperation of the public,” Acop added.
House Deputy Majority Leader Romero Quimbo of Marikina, a lawyer, agreed with Acop that drug cartels are really hard to stop from coming in.
“It is impossible to prevent cartels from coming in. What is important is that they are able to detect it within a reasonable period of time. The fact that they [PDEA] caught them [Sinaloa syndicate members] makes them laudable,” Quimbo said in a separate text message. LLANESCA T. PANTI