Fri. May 27th, 2022

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) renewed its call for local courts to expedite the issuance of orders allowing it to proceed with the immediate destruction of seized illegal drugs, as it burned about P5.3 billion worth of illegal drugs in Trece Martires City, Cavite on Thursday.

(pna.gov.ph)

“By this time, we should be destroying 1.2 tons of shabu. However, our largest haul of 500 kg. in Zambales has not been given a court order to get destroyed,” PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

The seized narcotics, which consist of shabu, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and other dangerous substances, were destroyed through thermal decomposition or thermolysis that involves breaking down chemical compounds with the use of tremendous heat.

Villanueva, meanwhile, expressed hope that they would be able to destroy the remaining 1.5 tons of illegal drugs left in their custody before the end of the Duterte administration.

“We still have about 1.5 tons left in our inventory that we need to burn for the rest of our administration. We believe this would increase because we still have a lot of work in the pipeline. Thus, as much as possible, we are pleading with our courts to give us an order to destroy the rest of those in our inventory,” he said partly in Filipino.

Villanueva noted that the physical closure of courts in many areas due to the continued surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections has hampered the process of illegal drugs destruction.

“Now, the courts are closed. How can we get a court order when the court is closed? How can the court order an ocular inspection when we could not enter our request?,” he added in Filipino.

The destruction of the dangerous drugs complies with the guidelines set on the custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs under Section 21, Article II of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation 1, series of 2002.

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