THREE persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who availed of a court-mandated plea bargain were found positive of illegal drug use during a surprise drug test conducted by the City of Lapu-Lapu Office of Substance Abuse and Prevention (C-Losap).
Garry Lao, C-Losap chief, said the three PDLs were trying to complete their six-month drug rehabilitation program as part of their plea bargaining agreement.
The three were part of 160 PDLs who underwent a surprise drug test as part of the drug rehab program.
Lao said he will include the results of the recent surprise drug test in the monthly report he will submit to the court.
It will be up to the court to decide if they will revoke the plea bargaining agreement for the three PDLs, he added.
But Lao said he plans to give consideration to the three PDLs by extending their stay in C-Losap’s drug rehab program to eight months instead of six.
Aside from the three PDLs, another PDL who availed of the court’s plea bargaining agreement also failed to appear before C-Losap for the drug rehab program. Lao said he will submit a report to the court on the PDL’s behavior.
Lao said some PDLs would often not appear for their sessions at C-Losap due to various reasons such as their current work prevents them from doing so.
But Lao advised PDLs under their supervision to take the city’s drug rehab program seriously since the local courts handling their cases are monitoring their progress.
“If the court allowed you to go free in exchange to undergo the drug rehab program, I suggest you don’t miss it. Because if the court finds out that you have not been complying with your plea bargaining agreement, they could revoke it and send you back to jail. Even if you availed of plea bargaining, it does not mean that your drug case has been dismissed,” Lao said, in Cebuano.
In 2017, the Supreme Court allowed plea bargaining in illegal drug cases. Through plea bargaining, a suspect charged for an illegal drug crime can plead guilty to a lesser offense and get a lighter sentence. (GCM, JKV)