ARAYAT - Despite the absence of a court order to abolish the facility, Mayor Emmanuel "Bon" Alejandrino of this town on Tuesday started dismantling the parts of the largest methampethamine hydrochloride laboratory in the country discovered in his jurisdiction in September last year.

But despite the failure to secure a court order, Alejandrino asserted that their operation is not illegal since they only took down and set aside the equipment.

He added that they secured markings on the original position of the facilities as basis for court proceedings.

"Ibaba lang namin yung mga gamit, pati yung platform para magpantay na lang sila tapos itabi sa gilid," he said, adding that the establishment seems to be an eyesore especially to tourists passing by the area.

He added that some equipment were already moved in a corner but others on the platform are still in place as they are still looking for a crane to facilitate the transfer.

Meanwhile, Alejandrino also disclosed his plan to move the Municipal Jail inside the 1.5 hectare property as President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that it will be confiscated in favor of the government.

He said that he will utilize the half hectare for the establishment of the said facility while the construction of a rehabilitation area as promised by President Duterte will push through in the remaining area.

"Naghihintay lang kami ng approval kasi ongoing pa iyong court proceedings pero kapag okay na, ipu-push natin yung mga plano," he noted.

In September, the local government discovered a clandestine shabu laboratory said to be the largest in the country in Barangay Lacquios here reportedly operated by Chinese nationals.

Authorities were able to arrest one suspect identified as Wen Zheng Hong, 39, of Fukien, China while two others eluded authorities.

Alejandrino said that upon investigation, police were unable to find the suspects at their reported address at Jose Abad Santos in Manila.