PHILIPPINE National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar yesterday sought the immediate destruction of around 809 kilos of shabu worth nearly P5.5 billion seized in a series of anti-narcotics operations in Zambales, Bataan and Cavite provinces.
The top cop ordered the PNP Legal Service to assist the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Remus Medina and other concerned PNP Anti-Narcotics Units to prepare the necessary legal documents required by the court prior to the issuance of the destruction order.
He likewise wanted the full destruction of all other illegal drugs confiscated in hundreds of police-initiated operations this year.
“In coordination with the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) headed by Director General Wilkins Villanueva, which is the lead agency in the operations in Zambales, Bataan and Cavite, we will seek clearance from various courts concerned for the immediate destruction of the more or less 809 kilos of shabu confiscated in these operations. Our legal actions will also cover all the other illegal drugs confiscated in other operations,” Eleazar said.
“Ito ay batay na rin sa kautusan ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na sa lalong madaling panahon ay masira na ang mga ilegal na drogang ito upang maiwasan ang mga alegasyon at mga haka-haka ng drug recycling, kahit pa nga malabo nang magyari ito dahil sa mas pinahigpit pang mga patakaran ukol sa chain of custody,” he added.
The immediate destruction of illegal drugs is stipulated in Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which says that after the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall, within 72 hours, conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated, seized illegal drugs or precursor chemicals and through the PDEA shall within 24 hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same, provided, that a representative sample, duly weighed and recorded is retained.
Eleazar said they will also take advantage of the Memorandum Circular issued by the Supreme Court last year, which reminded the courts nationwide, to expedite the destruction of illegal drugs seized in various operations.
The confiscated 809 kilos of shabu in Zambales, Bataan and Cavite, with the street value of more than P5.5 billion, was the biggest drug haul made by the Duterte government so far this year.
The seized drugs are now under the safekeeping of the PDEA Laboratory Service.