Duterte reiterates need to destroy seized drugs
In a pre-taped speech. President Duterte expressed his disgust over reports of recycling of seized evidence by corrupt law enforcement and other government personnel who are tempted to do so because they have access to the illegal drugs which amount to billions of pesos once sold back in the streets.
STAR/File
Duterte reiterates need to destroy seized drugs
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte directed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Solicitor General Jose Calida on Wednesday to coordinate with the Supreme Court on how to facilitate the incineration of seized illegal drugs covered by pending court cases.

In a pre-taped speech. Duterte expressed his disgust over reports of recycling of seized evidence by corrupt law enforcement and other government personnel who are tempted to do so because they have access to the illegal drugs which amount to billions of pesos once sold back in the streets.

“I think it’s – it behooves upon Secretary Guevarra and the SolGen to make representations with the Supreme Court that there is so much shabu involved, that there should be a fiscal on duty just to take a few random samples and he will check it on the spot,” Duterte said.

Once the validity of the evidence is established, Duterte said, then the seized evidence could be destroyed within 24 hours of confiscation. Only duly attested evidence might be presented to court, he added.

“The gravamen of the offense would really be the shabu taken by the inquest fiscal on duty” who will take samples at random “and certify that the contraband itself or the seized items are all shabu,” Duterte added.

Once illegal drugs are destroyed within a few hours of confiscation, Duterte said the incidents of recycling shabu will diminished.

This, he said, will reduce the headaches of government due to recycling by rogue policemen.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. told the President during the meeting that he has consulted SC deputy court administrator Raul Villanueva over the matter.

The SC official has informed Roque that the SC has issued a circular that would allow the conduct of inventory of seized drugs as evidence, and after it is verified, the proper personnel may destroy the contraband.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) incinerated yesterday illegal drugs worth about P6.2 billion at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. in Trece Martires City, Cavite.

PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva said his agency was yet to destroy more than 1,500 kilograms more of seized narcotics that included shabu, marijuana, cocaine, ephedrine, ketamine, diazepam, methyl ephedrine, nalbuphine, MDA, GBL, 2C-B, liquid ecstasy and various other expired medicines.

Duterte earlier ordered anti-drug agencies to destroy all confiscated shabu within a week due to concerns that their prolonged storage only increases the possibility of finding their way back into the market.

Villanueva assured the public that PDEA agents were not practicing drug recycling, saying he would go after anyone proven to be committing such schemes within his agency.

Under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, courts are required to conduct an inspection of seized illegal drugs and paraphernalia within 72 hours from the filing of charges. Within 24 hours after inspection, PDEA has to destroy the drugs. – Neil Jayson Servallos

DRUGS PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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