Fishermen find P5.3-M worth of cocaine floating in Caraga sea

John Unson - Philstar.com
Fishermen find P5.3-M worth of cocaine floating in Caraga sea
Deepsea fishermen Junjie Villaver and Paciano Villalba show the compressed cocaine brick they found while fishing in the territorial waters of Tandag City, now in the custody of the police.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Two fishermen turned over on Saturday to the police P5.3 million worth of cocaine in a plastic container they found attached to a floater while they were fishing a few miles off Tandag City in Surigao del Sur the day before.  

Brig. Gen. Kirby John Kraft, director of the Police Regional Office-13, told reporters on Saturday that the duo, Junjie Villaver, 36, and his companion, the 28-year-old Paciano Villalba, immediately turned over to the Tandag City Police Office the compressed cocaine, weighing about one kilo, that they found floating in the sea not too distant from the beachfront Barangay Bongtud where they both reside.

Other fishermen from seaside towns in Surigao del Sur have had similar experiences early on.

There are talks spreading around purporting that Chinese seafarers come to the territorial seas of Region 13, also known as Mindanao’s Caraga Area, drop shabu and cocaine in buoyant containers that Filipino contacts collect and distribute to buyers in different southern provinces.

Kraft said Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel gave Villaver and Villalba a cash reward and food provisions each for their act of vigilance and volunteerism that went viral on Facebook.

Kraft said the cocaine brick turned in by the two fishermen, costing P5.3 million, shall be disposed of properly according to procedures set by the Philippine National Police.

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