Sun. Jul 25th, 2021

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday has ordered the PNP Drug Enforcement Group to coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in seeking court approval for the immediate destruction of the more than P1 billion worth of shabu seized in separate operations over the weekend.

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In a statement, Eleazar said the buy-bust operations on June 13 in Cavite and Parañaque City, which resulted in the arrest of two big-time Chinese drug traffickers, was so far the biggest single-day drug haul of the PNP and the PDEA.

“We will be coordinating with the PDEA in convincing the courts that will handle the cases that we filed in connection with these two operations to destroy these confiscated illegal drugs in the soonest possible time,” Eleazar said.

The operations resulted in the confiscation of 155 kilograms of shabu worth P1.054 billion and the arrest of two Chinese nationals, Zhuzun Chen and Man Kuok Wong.

Chen was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Baclaran, Parañaque City while Wong was nabbed along the Aguinaldo Highway in Imus, Cavite.

Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, states that ‘after the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall, within 72 hours, conduct an ocular inspection” of the confiscated, seized illegal drugs or precursor chemicals and ‘through the PDEA shall within 24 hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same’, provided, that a representative sample, duly weighed and recorded is retained.

However, this provision of the law was not properly observed since it usually takes months and even years before illegal drugs are destroyed, triggering speculations of drug recycling.

Eleazar said they want to take advantage of the Supreme Court circular issued in July last year that reminds all regional trial courts to “strictly comply” with the requirements of Section 21 (4) of Republic Act 9165 on the immediate destruction of illegal drugs confiscated during police operations.The same circular also advised lower courts to prioritize the issuance of destruction orders of seized drugs amounting to five kilograms or more. SOVEREIGNPH

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