'NINJA COPS' CONTROVERSY PROMPTS MOVE

Capitol, PDEA, PNP, courts to set protocol for speedy disposal of seized illegal drugs

By: Rosalie Abatayo October 22,2019 - 08:50 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines —  The Cebu provincial government is now working with anti-narcotics groups and the courts to establish a protocol for the speedy destruction of illegal drugs confiscated during operations.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said the immediate destruction of illegal drugs was necessary in the light of the “ninja cops” and “recycling” controversies among law enforcers in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Read more: PNP dismisses 6 ‘ninja cops’

Garcia said the longer it would take for the confiscated illegal drugs to be disposed of, the more temptation there would be for irregularities to surface.

The governor already had an initial meeting with the heads of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7), Philippine National Police (PNP)) Regional Crime Laboratory, and Anti-Narcotics Task Force head lawyer Clarence Paul Oaminal on Monday, October 21.

In an interview this afternoon, Garcia said they discovered in their initial meeting that confiscated drugs here would not follow the time frame prescribed for its destruction.

In Section 21 of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002, an ocular inspection  of the seized drugs must be conducted by the handling court within 72 hours after the case relative to it has been filed and raffled.

“The Court (…) through the PDEA shall within 24 hours thereafter proceed with the destruction and burning of the same,” an excerpt of Paragraph 4 of Section 21 reads.

“The importance here is the speed by which we can have these drugs be disposed of. The longer it stays, the longer the temptation stays or the possibility of temptation arises. Mas maayo unta na nga pagka-seized, with the court’s agreement, ma-disposed of dayon,” said Garcia.

Read more: Drug war still credible despite ‘ninja cops’ controversy – Palace

In a separate interview, Oaminal told CDN Digital that the provision of the law on the disposal of the drugs and paraphernalia confiscated during operations had not been followed religiously.

“I have been calling on for action on this because it is a misconception that we need the case to be resolved first before we destroy the drugs. Now, we are working to have a dialogue with the judges on coming up with a protocol that will facilitate the faster disposal of illegal drugs,” Oaminal said.

Garcia said that it was only during their meeting yesterday that she found out that some of the drugs, which were among the evidence to be presented against the suspects, were actually with the courts.

Oaminal said they were still tracking some 40 kilos of illegal drugs that were currently in the courts’ custody so these could be disposed of.

Garcia added that she would also want to find out if the courts have the proper equipment or facility to store the illegal drugs./dbs

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TAGS: Capitol, courts, Garcia, illegal drugs, ninja cops, Pdea, protocol, seized

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