December 24, 2006

Imported cigarettes found floating in La Paz shoreline

THOUSANDS of packs of imported cigarettes were found floating along the shoreline of Barangay La Paz, Laoag City on the morning of December 20.

Bustamante Mariano, a barangay kagawad, said residents of the barangay were surprised to discover scattered cigarette packs along the shoreline as they later picked them up and took them home.

Mariano added that members of the Laoag City police and Office of the City Mayor staff had already visited the area for proper documentation as he also mentioned that the case had been turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for proper action.

Relative to this, barangay tanod Rolando Asuncion disclosed that the cigarettes had been discovered to be floating along the shoreline as early as midnight of December 19.

As a result residents went to the shoreline to inspect the floating cigarettes and Asuncion said they saw thousands of packs of cigarettes with Chinese characters.

“Daydi ngamin a rabii ket medyo adda arbis na ket naangin isu nga siguro madi nakaya diay (barko) isu nga naitapwak,” Asuncion said.

Reacting to this, community affairs officer Joseph H. Tamayo, who led the city mayor’s office staff in inspecting the area, advised the barangay officials to pass a barangay resolution with respect to whatever that may be washed their shorelines be reported immediately to the barangay officials.

After being reported to the village officials, it would be turned over to the city PNP for their proper police action as these may be smuggled goods.

In the absence of the said barangay resolution, Tamayo suggested that the cigarettes be confiscated for the meantime for them to have evidence for further and future investigation of the issue.

Meanwhile, Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas corrected some radio news reports that smuggling is taking place in the city.

The mayor said that he was told by Lopez that a ship was beached in Pasuquin and that this may be the source of the foreign cigarettes. He added however that they still has to confirm this report.

“Adda kanu ngamin naisad-dad a barko diay Pasuquin but we still nedd to verify ket didiay kanu iti nangibelleng kadagitoy sigarilyo.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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