Lab tests: Septic tank stash not shabu

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

‘Twas not shabu.

Laboratory tests on the plastic packs found inside a septic tank in Estancia, Iloilo indicated that the stash was neither methamphetamine nor any other illegal drugs.

Police Colonel Ulysses Ortiz, chief of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory (RCL)-6 said samples were also sent to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) for further tests.

“The result still showed that it was negative for illegal drugs,” Ortiz said.

All 114 packs of what was earlier suspected to be shabu or crystal meth were sent to the RCL-6 office in Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City.

Ortiz said PDEA-6 requested that samples would also be sent to their national office for further tests.

“We could not rule if there’s presence of precursor for illegal drugs (in the stash),” he said.

Ortiz said they also cannot conclude if the packs contained hazardous chemicals.

Meanwhile, Police Colonel Roland Vilela, Iloilo police director, said a probe is still being done why the packs were kept inside the septic tank.

“If there’s nothing into those packs, why were those hidden inside the septic tank?” he said.

On Dec. 17, 2019, carpenters found 114 packs of what appeared to be as white crystalline substance placed inside four garbage bags.

Vilela said the stash weighed 149.25 kilos

But the carpenters only reported the incident to police authorities morning of the following day.

They first informed their employer, former Estancia Mayor Rene Cordero, about their unlikely find.

It was an accidental discovery, the workers said.

Cordero, who is now a hotel operator, expanded his property to an unused building, which he also owns, at Barangay Bulaqueña.

Part of the requirement is to expand the septic tank.

Cordero told police investigators that a Taiwanese national, Chin Tse Lin, rented the property in 2001. Chon constructed the building for his squid-processing business, the products of which were imported to Taiwan.

But in 2016, Lin mysteriously left the property without any word to Cordero.

The former mayor even presented a contact of lease between him and Lin dated March 28, 2002.