All illegal drugs seized by authorities must be destroyed in a one week to avoid recycling of the contraband by unscrupulous individuals, President Duterte declared Monday night.
According to the President, destroying the confiscated drugs will “better protect” Filipinos since it would prevent the illegal substance from being “stolen, used and recycled.”
Duterte, who has launched a controversial war on drugs at the start of his term, added that he intends to visit the facilities where the illegal drugs are stored.
“I want all the shabu residual or otherwise, however minimal, destroyed, the whole of it by next week. You have so many days to do it in one week. Do it in one week. Destroy and get specimen,” he said during his televised address Monday night.
“We go by science, there’s the experiment. Why do we have to put on our shoulder the burden of keeping a contraband or merchandise that can be stolen and used, and recycled?” he said.
He noted that illegal drugs must be destroyed shortly after the ocular inspection by the court. Representatives from Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation are usually present during such inspection, he added.
“Kapag may ocular inspection may prosecutor ‘yan. There’s the PDEA, there’s the police, nandiyan lahat. At you can also invite the NBI and the forensic guys of the NBI will also conduct the examination,” he said.
Duterte acknowledged that some policemen have been implicated in recycling confiscated drugs in the past.
“Hindi naman lahat, few of them, far and wide in between the years itong shabu. Pero may mga pulis na ganoon. Ninanakaw o kaya hindi nire-report (Not everyone. Just a few of them, far and wide in between the years. There are some policemen who steal shabu and don’t report it),” he said.
” Iyon ‘yon, ‘yung sila Acierto, ganoon ang style noon. Magnakaw 20 kilos, i-report ang one kilo, ‘yung 19 i-recycle, ipagbili ulit (That’s what Acierto and others did. That’s the style then — steal 20 kilos, report only one kilo and recycle and sell the other 19 kilos). And that is what was really f***** the system,” he said.
Duterte is hopeful that the Supreme Court will support his position on the Immediate destruction of the confiscated drugs.
“I hope the Supreme Court will agree with me — just a few days after, they should be destroyed and be accounted for accurately. But as I said, sans the practice of stealing and recycling,” he said.
“So we can more or less improve things, better protect the Filipino people while doing a concerted action,” he added.
In July, the Supreme Court reminded trial court judges to expedite the inspection and destruction of illegal drugs seized in police operations. Under Circular 118-2020, regional trial courts have been advised to “strictly comply” with the requirements of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 on the immediate destruction of these illegal drugs.
The law states the court must conduct an inspection of the confiscated drugs within 72 hours after filing of the criminal case. The drugs must be destroyed within 24 hours after the ocular inspection.