Justice Secretary Orders Rapid Prosecution of Canadian in Connection with PHP 9.6 Billion Drug Case

MANILA – Justice Secretary Jesus Remulla has directed a swift legal response against Thomas Gordon O’Quinn, a Canadian national facing charges of drug possession and use of fictitious names, in light of his recent arrest and links to a PHP 9.6 billion shabu shipment.

According to Philippines News Agency, O’Quinn, who has multiple aliases including James Toby Martin and Robert Wagner, was targeted by a red notice from Interpol for his involvement in an international drug distribution network. “We want no part of international fugitives, you may have evaded the laws of your country but not ours,” Remulla stated, emphasizing the need for prompt and thorough prosecution.

O’Quinn was apprehended on May 16 at a spa in Tagaytay City by the Bureau of Immigration, following the issuance of the red notice. During his arrest, authorities recovered illegal drugs and several identification cards bearing different names but the same photograph. He is also connected to a significant drug bust in Alitagtag, Batangas, where a shabu shipment valued at PHP 9.6 billion was intercepted on April 15.

Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil detailed at a press briefing in Camp Crame that investigations have linked O’Quinn to Alajon Michael Zarate, who was caught transporting the shabu shipment. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has identified O’Quinn as a “major player” in the drug operation.

Remulla further noted that O’Quinn’s involvement in the Alitagtag drug case would lead to additional investigations to determine the full extent of his and others’ participation in the drug trafficking operation.