2 arrested for high-grade marijuana from US

Authorities arrested two persons in Batangas who received an illegal package containing high-grade “Kush” from the United States.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said that according to the reports of the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group, the suspects were identified as John Yengle Hernandez, 29, a vape store owner, of Banaybanay 1st, San Jose, Batangas; and Van Joshua Magpantay, 29, of Barangay 3, Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas.

The NAIA-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) flagged the shipment containing illegal drugs that were received by the arrested suspects.

“The arrested persons obviously know where this high-grade marijuana comes from. Whether they cooperate or not, we are going after their international and local sources,” Sinas said.

“The Bureau of Customs alerted NAIA-IADITG about the illegal shipment containing 500 grams of Kush marijuana in a parcel sent by a certain Nina Manual from California to Demetria Escalona, the consignee with address at Barangay Dalipit East, Alitagtag, Batangas,” PNA said.

Drug enforcement and police operatives launched their joint operation to arrest the suspects.

The PNP chief said the consignee authorized Magpantay to receive the shipment containing marijuana. The latter then gave Hernandez’s vape shop address located in Lipa City for the delivery.

Magpantay and Hernandez received the package and were arrested at the vape shop.

Medical marijuana use in the Philippines

In December 2020, Camarines Sur Representative LRay  filed a bill to legalize the local production and export of , a move that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) immediately opposed.

Instead, the DDB urged lawmakers to pass a measure to improve the government’s rehabilitation programs for drug dependents.

Villafuerte called on the health committee to discuss and approve House Bill No. 3961, which aims to expand the utilization of medical marijuana “to make it a lot more accessible and cheaper for Filipinos in need of this revolutionary medicine.”

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN-CND) voted to “remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside specific deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin, recognized as having little to no therapeutic purposes.”

Villafuerte, the public accounts committee’s vice-chair, said this development is a game-changer for medicinal and therapeutic recognition of CBD.