MANILA — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is seeking the help of prosecutors to destroy some P15.1189 billion worth of confiscated narcotics in its possession, an official said Monday, in line with an order by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte last week ordered all law enforcement agencies to destroy recovered illegal drugs like shabu (methamphetamine) to prevent recycling and reselling.
PDEA has written to the justice department and asked for help so that prosecutors of pending drug cases can get the courts' permission to inspect and eventually destroy drug evidence, said the agency's spokesperson Derrick Carreon.
"Sisikapin po naming makuha ang mga kaukulang court order para maisama po natin sa pending destruction on Oct. 15," he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(We will endeavor to get the necessary court order so we can include that in the pending destruction on Oct. 15)
PDEA will incinerate around one ton of narcotics at its destruction site in Trece Martires, Cavite on Oct. 15, he said.
"The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 strictly mandates that the court should conduct an ocular inspection of confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs and paraphernalia within 72 hours and subsequently within 24 hours, the PDEA should proceed with the destruction of the seized evidence," Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said last week.
The agency last Aug. 21 destroyed some P13 billion worth of illicit drugs, Carreon said.
"Dahil po may mga patuloy tayong large volume of confiscation of illegal drugs, kapag nababawan po iyong inventory natin, may pumapasok naman pong panibago kaya sa pananaw ng karamihan, parang hindi nauubos ang droga," he said.
(Because we continue to confiscate large volumes of illegal drugs, when our inventory decreases, there is a new batch that comes in so some people may think that the drugs do not run out.)
Authorities have dismantled 603 drug dens from July 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2020, he said.