MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will seek court approval for the immediate destruction of more than P1 billion worth of shabu that was confiscated in separate operations in Cavite and Parañaque City on June 13.
PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said he has ordered the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) to coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in obtaining the court approval.
“We will be coordinating with the PDEA in convincing the courts that will handle the cases that we filed in connection with these two operations to destroy these confiscated illegal drugs in the soonest possible time,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Ito naman ay naayon sa kautusan ng ating Pangulo na dapat ay sirain na kaagad ang mga nakukumpiskang iligal na droga sa loob ng isang linggo after the operation. At dapat lang namang gawin ito upang maalis na ang mga pagdududa tungkol sa nakukumpiskang iligal na droga,” he added.
Eleazar said they want to take advantage of the Supreme Court circular issued in July last year that reminds all Regional Trial Courts to “strictly comply” with the requirements of Section 21 (4) of Republic Act (RA) 9165 on the immediate destruction of illegal drugs confiscated during police operations.
RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, states 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.
But since the law was passed, the PNP chief said the provision of the law was not properly observed since it usually takes months and even years before illegal drugs are destroyed. This triggered speculations of drug recycling in the past.
The joint buy-bust operations resulted in the confiscation of 155 kilograms of shabu worth P1.054 billion and the arrest of two Chinese nationals, Zhuzun Chen and Man Kuok Wong.
Chen was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Baclaran, Parañaque City while Wong was nabbed along the Aguinaldo Highway in Imus, Cavite. Aside from the large volume of illegal drugs which were placed inside tea packages, cellular phones and vehicles were seized from the two suspects.
The seized 155 kilograms of shabu are currently under the custody of the PDEA. On the other hand, in the cases of police operations, confiscated illegal drugs are placed under the custody of the PNP-Crime Laboratory.