The government will ask the Supreme Court to allow the court inspection of random samples of seized shabu to make way for the immediate destruction of the rest of the contraband, President Duterte announced Wednesday.

ARMN4 2 1024x683 - Gov’t will ask SC to allow court inspection of samples of seized shabu to hasten its destruction
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ARMAN BAYLON/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

The President directed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Solicitor General Jose Calida to make the representation to the high court on the matter in a bid to hasten the destruction of the confiscated illegal drugs.

The seized shabu must be destroyed “within 24 hours” after the inspection of the fiscal to prevent the recycling of the illegal substance, according to the President. 

“I would direct my Secretary of Justice, Justice — si Secretary Guevarra to talk to the Supreme Court na magkuha lang ng sample, random. Kung nandiyan, ang inquest fiscal magkuha ng sample maski anong direction gusto niya. Tapos may test diyan mismo test na kaagad (I would direct my Secretary of Justice, Secretary Guevarra, to talk to the Supreme Court to get random sample. The inquest fiscal must get a sample from any direction and facilitate its immediate testing),” he said during his televised address Wednesday.

Duterte, a former prosecutor, said the random sample of drugs must be tested thrice before the rest of the illegal substance are destroyed by authorities. He noted that the certification of the fiscal should be taken at face value that the seized product is really shabu.

“And if it is confirmed three times — hindi lang isa, three times — ‘pag three times, sunugin na kaagad. And ‘yung samples na nakuha na na-certify ng fiscal, iyon na ‘yung ebidensya sa korte  (If it is confirmed three times, the drugs should be destroyed at once. The samples certified by the fiscal will be the evidence presented in court),” he said.

“Kasi ‘pag hindi, ang droga ninanakaw, nire-recycle. Pabalik-balik na lang tayo sa p***** i**** ‘to, walang katapusan (Because if not, the drugs are stolen and recycle. We’ll just be back and forth to this son of a b*tch. There will be no end),” he said.

Duterte sternly declared that he does not want to see warehouses filled with seized illegal drugs, especially the large haul confiscated by the government. He said the storage of the illegal drugs has only resulted in “many headaches” of the government.

“Para ganoon na lang para wala nang ‘yung tago-tago. Iyang tago-tago has led so many headaches for government, recycling and all, and of course, ‘yung mga rogue policemen,” he said.

Prior to the President’s remarks, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año reported that more than P8.16 billion worth of shabu has been destroyed by authorities. 

Año said the Philippine National Police destroyed 120 kilos of shabu while the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency destroyed 600 kilos of illegal substance. More illegal drugs will be destroy this week in adherence to the President’s order, he added.

Early this month, the President ordered the destruction of shabu seized by authorities in one week to avoid recycling of the contraband by unscrupulous individuals. He said the drugs must be destroyed shortly after the ocular inspection by the court representative.

Back in July, the Supreme Court urged local judges to hasten the inspection and destruction of illegal drugs seized in police operations. They have been advised to “strictly comply” with Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 on the immediate destruction of these illegal drugs.

Under the law, 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 inspection. 

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