34 drug cases dismissed due to technicality
Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - March 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Since January last year, 34 out of 4,493 drug cases, including that of Cebuano businessman Peter Lim and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, were dismissed and are now subject for review.

Superintendent Ryan Devaras, chief of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch (IDMB) of the Cebu City Police Office, said Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 is “too meticulous” making it very challenging to prosecute drug suspects.

He revealed that the dismissal is usually due to technicality because the inventory of evidence recovered was not done onsite.

He hopes that the 4,459 pending cases will result in the conviction of drug suspects.

Devaras explained that part of the “most crucial” task during drug operations is to label drug evidence recovered onsite to prove that these are not “false evidence”.

Each item must be labeled based on the date recovered, description, and initials of the operatives.

But Devaras explained that for security reasons, police would expedite the process of labeling the evidence recovered to avoid possible retaliation from the cohorts of the arrested personalities especially during operations in slum areas, which are considered as hotbed of illegal drug trade.

“Usahay delikado man gud ang lugar kung didto ka mag-conduct, wala ka kahibaw if naa ba biglang mamusil didto because you are very busy, anything can happen, lalo na depressed areas, nga hotbed sa mga drugs,” Devaras said.

To remedy the situation, he said that there are ongoing efforts to continuously refresh the knowledge of drug enforcement policemen to follow proper procedures during anti-illegal drug operations.

“Naa mi monthly case review and we found out there is a need sa among police to review ang procedure para ma observe,” Devaras said. (FREEMAN)

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