P256M illegal drugs destroyed

NEARLY 37 kilos of illegal drugs worth around P256 million that were confiscated during the drug raids conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA 7) were burned at the thermal facility of Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes along Junquera Street in downtown Cebu City on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

The drugs composed of shabu, marijuana and ecstasy were first presented to members of the media and other witnesses before these were “cremated.”

A chemist from PDEA who refused to be named also took samples prior to destroying the illegal substance to show to the public that these were real.

PDEA 7 Director Levi Ortiz said it was the ninth time that they burned drug evidence upon the order of the court.

Based on the data provided by PDEA 7, the burned items included shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth P251.2 million that were seized in a drug raid in Lapu-Lapu City, P44,722 worth of marijuana and ecstasy tablets amounting to P5 million.

According to the chemist and the PNP Regional Forensic Unit (RFU) 7, they still have 50 kilos of shabu each under their custody which cannot be released yet by the court for burning pending an ongoing investigation.

Col. April Madroño, RFU 7 chief, said the illegal drugs could not be disposed of as these are properly sealed and secured in a safety box with three keys that were entrusted to the PNP officials, including Madroño.

The narcotics agency, however said that contrary to the public’s perception, the shabu cannot be burned immediately as it will have to undergo laboratory testing unlike the marijuana wherein they only have to take samples that will be presented to the court. (AYB / TPT)