Bill strengthening drug prevention, amending Dangerous Drugs law hurdles House
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to strengthen drug prevention and control by amending Republic Act No. 9165 hurdled the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
With 188 affirmative votes, 11 negative votes and nine abstentions, the lower chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 7184, which seeks to amend the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The bill provides for legal presumptions on who is considered as importers, financiers, protectors or coddlers of illegal drugs.
Under the measure, a person who is found to have in his possession or under his direct or indirect control any document, purchase order, memorandum receipt, delivery receipt, bill of lading in connection with dangerous drugs is presumed to have imported or exported illegal drugs, until proven otherwise.
Meanwhile, a person is presumed to be a financier is he causes payment, raises, or supplies money for illegal drugs.
Any evidence showing delivery or transfer of money or drawing or issuance of a check, monetary instrument, or document to the account of a person or entity known to be connected with or working for an importer or exporter of illegal drugs can be considered as proof of consent of the presumed financier to the financing of illegal importation or exportation of dangerous drugs.
The bill also states that a person is presumed to be a protector or coddler of an illegal drug importer if he knows the suspect and uses his influence, power, or position to shield, harbor or facilitate the escape of the suspect.
He is also presumed a coddler if he has knowledge of or has reasonable ground to believe that the violator is an importer or exporter of illegal drug and uses his power and influence to prevent the arrest or prosecution or conviction of the suspect.
The bill also penalizes “negligent” lessors of properties used as clandestine laboratories.
Lessors of properties will be required to submit documents to avoid their properties from being used for illegal drugs purposes.
The measure also mandates the conduct of drug testing of Filipino professional and non-professional athletes twice a year.
It also extends the criminal liability to the partner, president, director, manager, trustee, estate administrator, or officer of the corporation or partnership who tolerates the use of a property of the corporation or partnership as a den, dive, or resort to commit violations of RA 9165.
Under the bill, the validity of drug test certificates issued by drug testing facilities is limited to three months.
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