The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has destroyed P6.245 billion worth of dangerous drugs at the facility of Integrated Waste Management Inc. in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City, Cavite.
PDEA Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said the destruction is in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to immediately destroy seized contraband to avoid recycling by unscrupulous individuals. The President’s order came after the Senate hearing on September 29, 2020 where the issue of illegal drugs being kept in storage facilities was raised to avoid recycling.
The agency has been conducting destruction of confiscated drug evidence recovered during anti-drug operations and those turned over by other law enforcement agencies (OLEAs) that were recently ordered by the courts to be destroyed.
Guest of honor and speaker during the activity was Atty. Benedicto A. Malcontento, Prosecutor General Department of Justice National Prosecution Service.
PDEA key officials, Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City officials, representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), non-government organizations (NGOs), and media partners witnessed the destruction activity.
Destroyed through thermal decomposition were a total of 1,394 kilograms and 2,273,935 ml of assorted pieces of drug evidence composed of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, marijuana, cocaine, ephedrine, ketamine, diazepam, methyl ephedrine, Nalbuphine, MDA, GBL, 2C-B, liquid ecstasy, and expired medicines.
Thermal decomposition, or thermolysis, is the method of decomposition or breaking down of chemicals by heat. At 1,000 degrees Centigrade, all dangerous drugs are totally decomposed or broken down.
Villanueva admitted that the agency faced challenges in complying with the President’s order, but vowed that they will seek assistance of other government agencies, particularly the Department of Justice.
“I have already brought up the matter with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and sought his guidance and assistance in order to speed up the issuance of court orders that will authorize PDEA to destroy seized illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.
The President’s directive to immediately destroy seized illegal drugs was under the context of Section 21(4) of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which required trial courts to conduct an ocular inspection of the illegal drugs and paraphernalia, within 72 hours from the filing of the criminal information.
Afterward, seized items have to be destroyed, through the PDEA, within 24 hours after the inspection.
“Through Secretary Guevarra’s intercession, the handling prosecutors of the pending drug cases will have the concurrence to assist PDEA to file appropriate motions in various courts. While some motions were filed, PDEA still needs the concurrence to the motion to conduct ocular inspections, taking of representative samples and eventual issuance of court order for the destruction of illegal drugs in drug cases that are pending in courts,” Villanueva explained.
The PDEA chief assured the public that all confiscated drugs under their custody will all be destroyed. (sovereignph.com)