MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, on Monday urged the courts to expedite the inspection of more than two tons of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) seized in various police operations across the country since October last year.
Gamboa made this appeal to erase suspicions that confiscated illegal drugs are just being recycled by erring policemen.
“So in order to erase this kind of thinking, then I found it logical for the immediate destruction of confiscated illegal drugs in the soonest possible time,” Gamboa said in a virtual briefing on Monday.
Gamboa said the PNP is now coordinating with the courts handling the cases of the various drug hauls to expedite the inspections and immediately schedule dates of destruction of the illegal drugs.
“We will plead to them to schedule right away the inspection and then issue the order to destroy so that after that then we will be able to destroy these evidences. Hopefully, we will be able to do this in a week or two,” he said.
Gamboa said there are more than two tons of illegal drugs at the PNP Crime Laboratory offices, the designated depository of all the seized illegal drugs.
He said is set to meet with two judges handling the confiscated 800 kilos of shabu in Bulacan and 300 kilos of shabu in Parañaque City last month.
On July 15, the Supreme Court (SC) reminded all regional trial courts to “strictly comply” with the requirements of Section 21 (4) of Republic Act 9165 on the immediate destruction of confiscated illegal drugs weighing five kilograms or more.
The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 provides that “after the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall, within 72 hours, conduct an ocular inspection” of the confiscated, seized illegal drugs or precursor chemicals, and “through the PDEA shall within 24 hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same”, provided, that a representative sample, duly weighed and recorded is retained.
Gamboa said the two tons of illegal drugs seized in various operations proved that the government is winning the war against illegal drugs.
"Generally, yes, we have won as a matter of fact we have actually reduced the number of users now," Gamboa said.
Recent PNP data showed that law enforcers seized a total of 6.5 tons of shabu in 217,000 anti-illegal drug operations since July 1, 2016.
Gamboa’s leadership is now zeroing in on high value targets, according to PNP Director of Operations, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Luis Licup.
Under Gamboa, a total of 2.2 tons of illegal drugs were seized from the hands of mostly high value targets. (PNA)