SBMA vigilant against entry of illegal drugs

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is closely working with law enforcement agencies to strictly monitor incoming vessels here against the possible entry of illegal drugs via the Port of Subic.

This is in consonance with the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs, said SBMA Administrator Wilma T. Eisma.

Just recently, elements from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region III, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Olongapo City, SBMA Seaport and SBMA Law Enforcement Department (LED) conducted a joint operation following intelligence reports that a ship arriving here was carrying illegal drugs.

According to a report from the SBMA Law Enforcement Department, the ship in question was a Panamax vessel carrying a cargo of soya from the United States. It arrived at the port of Subic early in May and anchored outside the limits of the SBMA Seaport.

Upon its arrival, government law enforcers led by PDEA, PCG and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group boarded and search the vessel using K-9 drug sniffing dogs, with SBMA Seaport and LED representatives observing the operations.

The search turned out negative and the operation was terminated on Tuesday, authorities here said.

Administrator Eisma said the recent inter-agency operation was a clear sign that the agency will not tolerate the entry of illegal drugs through the Port of Subic.

She said there are strict procedures and safety nets in place to ensure that no contraband, especially illegal drugs, could enter the country through the port of Subic.

“The SBMA is also implementing random checks for illegal substance that might be on board any of these incoming vessels,” Eisma added.

The administrator also issued a stern warning against those who are even thinking of shipping illegal drugs into the country and using Subic Bay as the port of entry, saying they will be harshly dealt with the full force of the law. (Dante M. Salvana)