Left photo shows the graduation photo of suspect Joy Caballero and her wallet containing the heat-sealed sachet of what is believed to be shabu.

The local office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will file charges of violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against a female call center employee who was suspected of transporting shabu last month through the city international airport.

A Palawan drug enforcement agent who cannot be named said to Palawan News on Wednesday that a case for violation of Section 5 of the drugs act will be filed against Pasig call center employee Joy Caballero, 21, for alleged shabu transportation on August 30 from Manila via a Cebu Pacific flight.

He said this is after a chemistry examination of the evidence seized turned positive on September 9 for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu).

“Ang i-fi-file sa kanya ay transportation [of drugs]. Once ma-file ang case sa kanya, walang bail ‘yon kasi based sa Section 5 ng [Republic Act 9165] transportation ‘yan,” the agent said.

He said they are now preparing the documents for the “regular” filing in Puerto Princesa of the case against Caballero this Friday.

The PDEA agent said upon filing, Caballero will be subpoenaed by the court and will be given the opportunity to submit her counter-affidavit.

On August 30, Caballero who traveled to the city for a holiday forgot a small eco-bag on her airline seat. This was found by a flight attendant and turned over to security guard Jhonmar Cullamar as part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for items left by passengers.

Upon inspection of the items inside the eco-bag, Cullamar found inside Caballero’s wallet a piece of a heat-sealed transparent sachet containing a white substance believed to be shabu.

Two PDEA sniffer dogs that were at the international airport also confirmed it was an illegal drug by sitting beside the bag.

Caballero, who went back to the airport to claim the bag, was held temporarily for questioning by the PDEA and airport police. She was also released after several hours because no chemist was available at that time to test the sample.

Caballero, however, claimed it was not shabu, but “salt” given to her by a friend in the call center.

“Asin lang po ‘yon. Binalot lang namin sa ganoon, pinupuslit lang ng kasama namin binebenta niya kasi nilagang itlog. Bawal kasi ang pagkain sa loob. Ayon, asin at itlog, kasi maaasin ako so ‘yong binibigay niya sa akin tinatabi ko muna. Sure po ako na asin, kaya ko pong patunayan na asin ‘yon. Kaya nga noong nakita ko ‘yong PDEA, sabi ko, ‘naku ‘yong asin ko,” Caballero said.

Caballero said she is not a drug user and she can have herself tested for drugs to prove innocence.

“Hindi po ako gumagamit, puwede niyo po akong ipa-drug test. Bawal kasi pagkain sa amin kaya ‘yong asin niya nakabalot sa ganoon. Parang nagtatawanan nga kami sabi ko sa kanya, ‘mommy ano ba itong asin na nakalagay sa ganitong balot baka kung ano isipin sa atin,” Caballero said.

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Jayra Joyce Cañete Taboada handles the law and order and the science and education beats. She is also a licensed professional teacher.