Task force seize contraband off a pumpboat

The Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) seized two .22 caliber rifles, and 246.27 grams of marijuana off a pump boat anchored along the waters bounded by the cities of Cebu and Talisay.

CPAIFTF Team Leader and Capitol Security Chief Loy Anthony Madrigal, with the assistance of the Philippine Navy and the Coast Guard, boarded the FB Kazel Wayne pump boat around 12 p.m.

They also intercepted eight blasting caps and drug paraphernalia in the operation last July 27.

The boat’s operator Richard Leyson from Lapu-lapu City and Jake Perez from Ormoc City were arrested and detained at station 11 of the Cebu City Police Office.

The owner of the boat is identified as Rolando Espinosa from Barangay Binolho, Albuera, Leyte, according to its fishing certificate issued by the Maritime Industry Authority.

Madrigal speculated that it is possible that the boat is used for fishing before but they must be also engaged in illegal trade because of the volume of marijuana leaves that were recovered. The marijuana leaves were placed inside a tool box.

However, Perez’s Lawyer Rogelio Pato Jr. who talked to Madrigal the following day, said his client was a good person and was just working for a living.

“He was just hired to fix the propeller of the boat,” he added.

Pato clarified that he was only acting on behalf of Perez.

Madrigal said the rifles will still be examined by the Firearms, Explosives and Security Supervision Administration Group of the Philippine National Police. The marijuana leaves were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for examination and custody.

The task force also sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to file charges against the crew within 36 hours from the arrest.

Prior to the operation, Madrigal said they received reports that an illegal trade has been going on in the area. His team was checking the route for the Ironman race on Aug. 3 when he happened to pass by the area.