STRIKE HOME|Missing pieces in so-called mega-shabu laboratory find

ONE ITEM posted on Facebook tweaked my curiosity lately regarding a so-called mega-shabu laboratory in Pampanga that President Dutertetook time out to visit.

The item, among other things, wondered if the so-called drug laboratory was actually a paint mixing factory operated by Chinese nationals from the mainland who entered the country illegally.

Indeed, as a journalist for more than 30 years, some things don’t seem to fit in the story. For other than the mere mention of “several drug-manufacturing equipment,” most of the news accounts failed to sort out or identify exactly all the structures and equipment in the facility.

In contrast, Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa itemized the guns and ammunition seized from a house near Camp Crame just days apart from Duterte’s Pampanga visit.

Pictures of the Pampanga plant that the President visited showed several cylindrical plastic-like contraptions linked to each other by pipes?

What are these exactly? What were the chemicals or components discovered at the site to convince authorities to say these were used to churn out illegal drugs, notably shabu or crystal meth?

Were there drugs actually seized?

Who said these were mega-laboratory in the first place? What were their basis in saying it was drug-manufacturing facility?

What have barangay or municipal officials have to say? Did they confirm the report or merely chose to watch? And why was there no effort to detain one of its alien workers to determine the names of their bosses?

Why did this country’s top media outfits swallow the ‘story’ hook, line and sinker?

Finally, are some people out to take President Duterte for a ride?

If she is amused by how mortals seem ‘to entertain’ each other, Maria Makiling, the goddess who was supposed to inhabit Mt. Arayat, did not show it. Either she was enjoying the show or chose to ignore it.

This reminds me in part of the lie that the city of Baguio continues to hoist over its citizenry in the form of two so-called environmental recycling system contraptions worth P22million that were supposed to churn out premium organic fertilizer from solid wastes.

The contraptions, reported as Japan-made, were supposed to process the wastes into fertilizer. One Baguio reporter who had by chance visited Japan discovered the system is in fact unknown or not made in Japan but probably set up somewhere in Metro Manila.

For the more than 10 years that it was in place, not a single sack of the so-called organic fertilizer made it to the market. To complete the act, the city has contracted to haul its garbage to Pangasinan and Tarlac at the cost of millions annually while the DENR looks the other way.

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The other news that did not surprise me at all was the reported riot at the Bilibid prisons that led to the death of one high-profile inmate and the wounding of several others, including the notorious Jaybee Sebastian. Taking the offensive, Senator Leila de Lima said the riot was supposedly a warning to inmates who refused to testify against her at the Congressional hearings.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on the other hand was convinced that De Lima herself would benefit directly if Sebastian was put out of commission. Whom to believe?

Investigative journalists have one all-encompassing question that had unraveled the answers to many questions: Who benefits or who does not stand?

In police lingo, who has the motive and who does not have?

Believe-you-me, your guess is as good as mine.

Posted in Opinion