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Arroyo: Probe escape of big time drug suspect

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Vows ‘heads will roll without mercy’

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:22:00 03/06/2009

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has vowed that “heads will roll without mercy” as she ordered an investigation into the escape from the country of a big-time drug suspect who allegedly paid a P50-million bribe, Malacañang said Friday.

Arroyo, the country’s self-appointed anti-drug “czar,” gave the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) one week to finish their inquiry into the escape of Anthony Ang, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde told reporters.

Ang allegedly attempted to smuggle 700 kilos of “shabu” or methamphetamine hydrochloride, worth P5 billion, into the country, said Antonio Villar, head of the Philippine Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG).

When sold on the streets, the seized “shabu” could be worth as much as P15 billion, making it the “biggest haul” of the drug in the country, Villar said.

Ang, according to “raw” intelligence reports from PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago, has escaped to China. He has an arrest warrant on drug trafficking charges issued by an Olongapo City court, Remonde said.

“The President has issued a very stern warning that heads of government officials involved in the escape of Ang and all others found involved in illegal drugs that heads will roll without mercy,” he said.

“The President received information that there are some officials who coddled them, that’s why she ordered this investigation,” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been directed to coordinate with Chinese officials on Ang’s case, he said.

On May 25, 2008, officials held a shipment, declared as laptop computer parts, consigned to Ang at the Subic Bay Freeport after he refused to have the container vans opened.

When authorities opened the container vans, they discovered 100 grams of shabu. More of the drug was seized in a follow-up raid on Ang’s warehouse.

Divers also found shabu hidden under water in waterproof bags, Villar said.

The manager of the warehouse was arrested and remains under detention.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2009-03-06T08:43:37+00:00UTC03bUTCFri, 06 Mar 2009 08:43:37 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am03

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