Charges Filed Against Van Driver in Major Batangas Drug Bust

BATANGAS CITY — Legal proceedings have begun against a van driver implicated in a significant drug trafficking case in Alitagtag, Batangas, following the seizure of a large cache of illegal substances earlier this week.

According to Philippines News Agency, the driver, known only by the alias "Al," was arrested after failing to produce a driving license during a police checkpoint in Barangay Pinagkurusan. His vehicle was found to contain several large bags of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), leading to his immediate arrest. The drugs, initially reported to weigh about two tons and valued at approximately PHP 13.3 billion, were later confirmed to be 1,424.253 kilograms worth around PHP 9.68 billion.

The charges, filed on Wednesday at the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Batangas City, include violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9165) and the Land Transportation and Traffic Code (Republic Act 4136). The suspect remains under the custody of the Batangas Police Provincial Office as he awaits further court proceedings.

Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran, PRO-4A public information chief, explained that the discrepancy in the reported weight and value of the drugs is being investigated by the Philippine National Police headquarters. Meanwhile, the seized substances tested positive for shabu and have been handed over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Quezon City for proper management.

Brig. Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, Acting Regional Director of PRO-4A, assured the public of continued vigorous efforts against drug trafficking in the region. He emphasized the police's commitment to ensuring safety in what he described as the "New Philippines."