Representative Rodel Batocabe of AKO BICOL Partylist aims to put an end to the practice of select erring cops who recycle confiscated illegal drugs from police operations and channel them back into the market from the storage units of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Batocabe filed House Bill 4728 that seeks to further amend the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. If this legislative measure is enacted into law, enforcers do not need to store all of the seized dangerous drugs and its ingredients for admissibility purposes. The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act provides for PDEA’s supervision over the dangerous drugs, paraphernalia, and equipment from police operations and raids.
“The purpose of the bill is to destroy the means of the so-called ‘ninja cops’ in their practice of returning confiscated drugs to the market,” Batocabe said.
“This alleged unbridled practice of illegal drug trade by the vanguards of the law is unacceptable especially at the midst of the government’s efforts against illegal substances”, he added.
Instead, photographs of the said materials and representative samples of the seized drugs for laboratory testing will suffice in the proceedings of the case against drug peddlers and pushers.
Under House Bill 4728, the novel piece of legislation amends the process of disposition of confiscated, seized, and surrendered dangerous drugs, ingredients of production, and laboratory equipment by allowing authenticated photographs of these items to serve as evidence in the proceedings of drug cases. The legislative measures provide comprehensive guidelines on the documentation of the confiscated and seized drugs and allow its destruction to avoid its distribution out of the market.
“We have provided a framework wherein we ensure that the confiscated drugs are properly documented so that we can proceed with its destruction. The incidence of seized illegal drugs being recycled and re-sold will be lessened, if not eradicated,” Batocabe added.
The apprehending team shall have the initial custody of the confiscated items until they are put for inventory. They shall then be photographed with a newspaper or other publications to determine the date of seizing. The procedure shall be conducted with the presence of the accused or representative, an elected public official, the National Prosecution office, and media personnel.
The destruction or burning with the accompanied photographs shall be certified by the PDEA. The Dangerous Drug Board shall then issue a sworn certification with all the authenticated photographs so that it may be deemed valid by the court having jurisdiction.
Click on LINK below to download the full version of HB4728:
House Bill 4728: Drugs Custody