SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY (SBMA) CHAIRMAN ROBERTO GARCIA
ON THE MISINFORMATION ABOUT SUBIC FREEPORT AND P2-BILLION DRUG BUST
This is to clarify matters on the P2-billion "shabu" or methamphetamine hydrochloride that was erroneously reported to have been seized by authorities here at the Subic Bay Freeport.
On August 12, several newspaper accounts indicated that a five-month surveillance by the anti-narcotics operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led to the arrest of six suspects and the seizure of about 400 kilos of shabu worth P2-B in Sta. Monica Subdivision, Subic, Zambales. Some newspapers, however, placed the location of the drug bust "at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority" or the "Subic Bay Freeport".
This has become a common mistake among some writers and editors who think that Subic Bay Freeport and Subic, Zambales, are one and the same. They are not, as these two places are distinct and different from one another.
The Subic Bay Freeport is a 670-square kilometer special economic zone located at the former the U.S. Naval Base, and which by virtue of Republic Act 7227 has been developed into a self-sustaining industrial and commercial center that is being managed by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Subic, Zambales, on the other hand, is one of the 13 municipalities of the province of Zambales, as well as one of the eight local communities contiguous to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
In the case of the seizure of P2-billion shabu yesterday (August 11), 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. That smuggling attempt made news precisely because it was foiled by the SBMA Law Enforcement Department, in cooperation with other agencies.
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.
The seizure of the P2-billion shabu by the PNP's anti-narcotics group was also successful because of the cooperation of the SBMA throughout the five-month surveillance.
We assure everybody that the SBMA will not allow smugglers to do their "monkey business" in the Subic Bay Freeport area. (30)