ARAYAT, Pampanga – Police and anti-narcotics operatives discovered a methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) factory situated at the foot of Mount Arayat in Barangay Lacquios here Thursday, the second shabu laboratory overran by authorities in a span of two weeks.
“This is the biggest shabu laboratory discovered not only in Pampanga but in the entire country, so far,” Senior Supt. Rodolfo Recomono Jr., Director of Pampanga Provincial Police Office, disclosed, while describing to Interaksyon the facility and equipment in the area.
Recomono elaborated, however, that no person was arrested during the raid, as the occupants had eluded the raiding team, scampering in different directions beforehand. “Still, we have disrupted the prospective production of illegal drugs in this place.”
The raiding team, composed of operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 3 Office (PDEA3) and local police, found seven large hydrogenators and a chromatograph machine among the equipment in the laboratory.
“Each of the hyrdogenators has the capacity to yield 50 to 100 kilograms of shabu per day, per assessment of the crime laboratory chemists, while the chromatograph machine is used for determining the purity of the finished product,” Recomono said over the phone.
Recomono said the laboratory is surrounded by 8 to 10-feet high concrete fence, sitting in the midst of hog farms beside it and a melting plant for recycling plastics.
“It’s a good thing we discovered this laboratory before it could produce and distribute finished products out to the market,” Recomono said. “My instruction to all police chiefs in the province is to be pro-active. And it paid.”
Supt. Samuel Sevilla, Arayat police chief, was conducting routine inspection of all industrial facilities, specifically hog and poultry farms, following the discovery of the previous shabu laboratory in nearby Bgy. San Ildefonso (Bical), Magalang, Pampanga two weeks ago.
Sevilla said the compound is occupied by unidentified persons who quickly fled after they noticed the approaching policemen. “It was abandoned.”
He said no one has come forward, so far, to acknowledge ownership of the property.
Policemen and PDEA personnel are currently undertaking an inventory of the equipment and seized precursors found inside the warehouse shabu laboratory.