By DJ Yap
The bulk of illegal drugs seized from an abandoned laboratory in Parañaque City early this month had been valued at a staggering P874 million, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Friday.
PDEA officer-in-charge Carlos F. Gadapan said among the recovered substances were 372 kilograms of ephedrine; 100 liters of liquid methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”; 8,419 kilograms of solid and 39, 884 liters of liquid chemicals.
Also seized were various pieces of lab equipment and other materials used in the manufacture of shabu from what the PDEA called a “mega clandestine laboratory,” which authorities found on Km 19, East Service Road in Barangay San Martin de Porres on June 6.
“The property [in Parañaque] is about three times larger than the one-hectare clandestine laboratory in Ayala Alabang,” Gadapan said in a statement, referring to an earlier facility discovered in Muntinlupa City.
“The basement was used as laboratory for manufacturing shabu. The ground floor was utilized as storage for chemicals, while the second floor served as the cooling or drying area. Our chemists had to work for eight straight days to finish processing the facility and conducting chemical analysis,” Gadapan said.
He said the processing of the clandestine lab alone—which involved identifying and marking pieces of evidence, taking samples, conducting field tests and taking full inventory—took four days.
He said another five days were spent analyzing the chemical composition of the drugs.
Gadapan said there was a possibility that the laboratory in Parañaque City was connected to the three laboratories dismantled earlier this year in the posh Ayala Alabang subdivision.
“All of these facilities employ the Nagai process using red phosphorous to manufacture shabu. We also found [in the Parañaque laboratory] the same empty blister packs of the drug Novahist discovered in Kanlaon and Country Club Drive in Ayala Alabang,” the official added.
Based on laboratory tests, Novahist contains pseudo-ephedrine, classified as a dangerous drug under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Novahist, manufactured in Pakistan, is not available in the Philippine market.
“We presume that these [Novahist] tablets are being smuggled into the country. It is not registered with the Bureau of Food and Drug. We also have no record that PDEA issued permits for the legitimate importation of Novahist,” Gadapan said.