Duterte happy his order to destroy seized drugs has been carried out
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed satisfaction on Wednesday with the government agencies’ compliance with his order to destroy seized illegal drugs to avoid recycling.
In a meeting in Malacañang, a portion of which was recorded and aired Wednesday night, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported that law enforcement agencies had already destroyed P8.6 billion worth of crystal meth, or shabu, prior to Duterte’s order.
He added that some 1,000 kilograms of shabu would be destroyed on Thursday.
Hearing the Año’s report, Duterte said: “I’m happy with the compliance on my order.”
The President, however, noted that the process of destroying confiscated illegal drugs could be streamlined.
He said that the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General should coordinate with courts to simplify protocols in the destruction of confiscated illegal drugs.
“There should be a fiscal on duty just to take a few random samples and give it on the spot. He would give the sample taken and have it tested to certify that it’s shabu. After that, within about 24 hours, it should be immediately destroyed,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, trial courts are required to conduct an ocular inspection of the illegal drugs and paraphernalia within 72 hours from the filing of the criminal information.
Then the seized items have to be destroyed, through the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, within 24 hours after the inspection. A representative sample of the seized drugs will be retained for use as evidence during the trial of the case.
On Oct. 6, Duterte ordered concerned government agencies to destroy all confiscated narcotics within a week to prevent them from being stolen or recycled.
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