21 August 2013

SBMA To Augment Harbor Patrol

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) plans to augment its harbor patrol by adding four new patrol boats to its security fleet.

This was bared by SBMA Chairman Robert Garcia in a recent interview, adding that the agency will also be repairing two patrol boats. He added that the SBMA wants to ensure the security of Subic Bay’s shorelines.

“We have already asked MalacaƱan to provide us with the proper funding for our new patrol boats. We are still waiting for their nod,” Garcia said.

The statement came amidst the drug bust that happened recently in the town of Subic which resulted in the seizure of P2 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu.”

Garcia said the agency is not claiming the honor of busting the drug syndicate but only said that it assisted the police. “We helped in staking out the syndicate,” he said.

Garcia reiterated that allegations made by Subic Mayor Jefferson Khonghun that the drugs passed through Subic Bay Freeport is unfounded, since the drugs might have come from foreign vessels and then possibly ferried via motorized bancas.

“The shoreline of Subic town is long (sic), motorized bancas could land anywhere in Subic town,” Garcia said.

“We have been adamant in keeping smuggling off of Subic Freeport. Items such as rice, oil and other smuggled items have been nil since we helped bust the biggest rice smuggling operation in the country,” Garcia said.

As for the SBMA officials who are connected in the drug operations, Garcia was mum on the subject. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)