SC seeks inventory of P22-B drugs
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court had already asked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to submit its inventory of the P22 billion worth of illegal drugs that various law enforcement units had recovered, court administrator Jose Midas Marquez said on Monday.
At the hearing of the judiciary’s proposed budget for 2020, Marquez told the Senate that he had also requested the PDEA to furnish him the case files involving the seized narcotics so that he would know which courts were handling the criminal cases.
“Many of these cases are still pending with our courts. I have requested a list of where these cases are pending so we can act on it,” Marquez told the Senate finance committee, chaired by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.
Responding to a query from Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, did not specify the volume of confiscated illegal drugs that should be stored as evidence for the trial.
Peralta noted that of the drug cases brought to the high court, nearly 90 percent involved the recovery or sale of just one gram of “shabu” (crystal meth).
“The problem with that is, how many grams or how many kilos of the recovered drugs are supposed to be inspected and inventoried?” the magistrate pointed out.
Drilon had earlier expressed concern about the safekeeping of seized illegal drugs after PDEA chief Aaron Aquino admitted that the selling of recovered narcotics remained “rampant.”
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