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PDEA Criticized Over Seized Illegal Drugs Inventory

Senator Franklin Drilon has criticized the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regarding the accuracy of the inventory data of the agency regarding the quantity of the illegal drugs under its custody.

Drilon noted that the unaccounted illegal substances have the tendency of being “recycled.”

The senator said the Senate Finance Committee would like to validate the accuracy of the seized drugs inventory like shabu, cocaine, ecstasy and other illegal drugs under PDEA’s possession.

He added there is a possibility of “recycling” the illegal substances if no accurate report will be provided. Such comment was made in line with the deliberation of PDEA’s proposed budget of Php 679 million.

During the discussion, one of the relevant situations mentioned was the Samar cocaine-dumping incident in 2009. About 2,000 kilograms of cocaine bricks was reportedly found in a Chinese vessel heading to Guangzhou, China. Based on reports, the ship’s crew hid the drugs after being alerted of a buy-bust operation. The authorities recovered 571.73 kilos from the ship.

Drilon queried about the missing 1,428.27 kilos of cocaine. He noted that it seems the authorities are at loss of striking a balance in recovering the reported volume of high-grade cocaine and no effort was made to pursue this operation.

The senator cited that the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (RA 9165) is not fully being implemented with a big volume of illegal drugs under PDEA’s custody not yet being disposed.

PDEA is supposedly to destroy the confiscated drugs within 24 hours after the court has inspected the illegal substances as mandated in Section 21 of RA 9165.

Drilon said there is an existing law, but it is very frustrating that it is not strictly implemented. The danger of recycling these substances is prevalent.

Citing PDEA’s reports, 275,828.888 grams of crystallized shabu and 96,242.8 milligrams of liquid shabu were confiscated by PDEA. About 8,953.55 grams of shabu was only disposed since July 22, 2011. Around 13,338.003 grams of cocaine and 1,169.485 grams of ecstasy were also in the custody of PDEA.

Alvaro Lazaro, PDEA’s chief legal counsel, claimed PDEA is still awaiting the courts’ decision before disposing the seized substances. Most of the confiscated drugs have pending cases so they cannot act immediately on implementing the law.