Court Administrator to RTC judges: Obey law on destruction of seized drugs
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Court Administrator on Wednesday reminded regional trial court judges handling drug cases to strictly follow the provision of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in the destruction of confiscated drugs.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez issued the reminder through a circular to all judges and court personnel following his meeting with PNP Chief General Archie Gamboa.
During the meeting, Gamboa informed Marquez that confiscated drugs remain in their custody due to the delayed issuance of court orders for its destruction.
Under the circular, Marquez said judges should strictly comply with the requirements set forth in Section 21 (4) of Republic Act 9165 mandating that after the filing of the criminal case, the court shall within 72 hours conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated illegal drugs and paraphernalia and that through the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency proceed with its destruction or burning within 24 hours.
“A representative sample, duly weighed and recorded, must be retained” from the confiscated drugs, Marquez also said.
He further said that in cases where illegal drugs seized are physically brought to the court, the court shall issue the order of destruction within 24 hours therefrom.
Marquez added that in circumstances when courts with pending drug cases where the seized drugs amount to more than five kilograms but ocular inspection has yet to be conducted, it should “immediately conduct the ocular inspection and within 24 hours therefrom issue the destruction orders.”
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