Taiwan protests claim it was source of P6.8-billion shabu
MANILA, Philippines – Taiwan on Wednesday, August 15, voiced its "strongest protest" over reports that it was a source of the P6.8 billion worth of shabu, or the illegal drug methamphetamine, recently smuggled into the Philippines.
Filipino officials earlier said the smuggled shabu came from China and Taiwan.
In a statement past 8 pm on Wednesday, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines said, "These allegations are incorrect and inaccurate. We solemnly condemn the irresponsible news reports."
"Taiwan very much cherishes its relationship and partnership with the Philippines. Therefore, we sincerely urge that the Philippine authorities make prompt clarifications regarding the origin of the above-mentioned illegal drugs," TECO added.
"Taiwan is a partner in the war against drugs, not a 'supplier,'" it said, pointing out that the smuggled shabu came "from other countries and absolutely not from Taiwan."
Taiwan explained that its authorities learned "that the first 500 kilos of shabu found on August 7 were originally from Malaysia, and arrived in the Philippines on June 28 before being seized by the Philippine authorities."
"The second container found with 4 empty magnetic lifters that was investigated on August 9 was originally shipped from Vietnam, and afterwards was transshipped in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, before arriving in Manila, Philippines," TECO also said.
While President Rodrigo Duterte pursues a drug war that kills thousands of mostly poor Filipinos, critics slam him for failing to catch the big fish, such as those behind another P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled into the Philippines in May 2017.
On Tuesday, August 14, the President said it was "pure speculation" that P6.8 billion in shabu was smuggled inside magnetic lifters found in Cavite. A laboratory report by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said there were no traces of shabu in the magnetic lifters. – Rappler.com