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SBMA clears misinformation about Subic Freeport and P2-B drug bust
Aug 13, 2013

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia yesterday shed light on erroneous reports about the seizure of some 400 kilograms of shabu in this free port.

Newspaper reports dated August 12 indicated that anti-narcotics operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after a five-month surveillance arrested six suspects and seized of 400 kilos of shabu worth P2-B at the Sta. Monica Subdivision in Subic, Zambales.

Some accounts, however, placed the location of the drug bust as either the Subic Bay Freeport or the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, instead of the municipality of Subic in Zambales.

"I just want to make it clear, once and for all, because it has become a common mistake that Subic Bay Freeport and Subic, Zambales are one and the same. Well, they are not," stressed Garcia in a statement..

"Subic Bay Freeport is a 670-square kilometer area, which is formerly the .US. Naval Base, Subic Bay. By virtue of the Republic Act 7227, it is now being managed and developed by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority into a self-sustaining growth center," he added.

"Subic, Zambales, on the other hand, is one of the 13 municipalities of the province of Zambales, and one of the eight communities adjacent to the Subic Bay Freeport," he continued.

In the case of the seizure of P2-billion shabu on August 11,Garcia emphasized that this happened at Sta. Monica Subdivision, which is located in the municipality of Subic, Zambales, and not in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, nor in the Subic Bay Freeport.

A report also mentioned the Subic Bay Freeport as a haven for drug smugglers, referring to the drug smuggling attempt here at the Subic Bay Freeport sometime in 2011.

Garcia likewise clarified that that smuggling attempt made news "precisely because it was foiled by the SBMA Law Enforcement Department, in cooperation with other agencies."

According to Garcia, the SBMA and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have long been in close coordination to curb smuggling in the Port of Subic, which is in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Moreover, he gave the assurance that under his term, the SBMA will not allow smugglers to do any "monkey business" in the Subic Bay Freeport. (30)


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