NEARLY P80 million worth of shabu, marijuana and expired regulated drugs were destroyed by law enforcement agencies on Tuesday morning, Oct. 13, 2020.
A court order greenlighted the destruction initiated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 and the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Before the illegal and expired drugs were brought to the crematory of Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, the PDEA 7 chemists had made tests to make sure that the drugs about to be destroyed were genuine.
Under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), the court, after the filing of a criminal case, is required to conduct an ocular inspection on the evidence within 72 hours. Afterwards, the court through the PDEA shall proceed with the destruction or burning or disposal of evidence within 24 hours.
Prior to destroying illegal drugs, representative samples of the evidence shall be taken and duly weighed and recorded by the forensic laboratory, which conducted the examination for presentation as evidence in the trial court, according to Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation 1 series of 2002.
The remaining evidence will be destroyed via a court order after the trial against an arrested drug dealer is completed.
Present during the destruction on Tuesday were PDEA 7 Director Levi Ortiz and PRO 7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro. Some members of the press, and representatives of the Department of Justice and Cebu City Government also served as witnesses.
The illegal and expired regulated drugs were destroyed in 30 minutes.
The bulk of the destroyed illegal drugs came from the anti-narcotics operations by the PRO 7, which seized P77.7 million worth of illegal drugs.
The shabu worth P600,000 seized by the PDEA operatives in Tacloban City were also destroyed on Tuesday.
The total weight of the contraband destroyed in the crematory was 11 kilos.
According to Ortiz, over nine kilos of illegal drugs came from the operations conducted by the PRO 7.
Ortiz said they proceeded with the destruction after a court ordered the PDEA 7 to retain a sample of the evidence and destroy the rest even if most of the cases are still on trial.
Police Crime Laboratory 7 Chief Roderick Pausal said a large quantity of shabu in their custody is scheduled to be destroyed in the coming weeks.
Pausal said they will send to the PDEA 7 all the evidence. This, as Republic Act 9165 mandates the PDEA to take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs and other evidence seized during operations. (AYB, BBT / MMC)