How to Stop Drug Recycling? Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings of PDEA, DDB

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Sen. Lacson chaired the resumption of the hearing on the 2020 budget of the PDEA and DDB, where the problem of recycling of seized illegal drugs was taken up. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Court Administrator Midas Marquez attended the hearing, upon the Senate’s investigation.

Sen. Lacson cited the problem raised by the PDEA in the previous budget hearing. “Right now, what’s stocked in the warehouse of PDEA is P22B worth of different kinds of drugs. We don’t know because the problem exists as PDEA claims, they have to wait for a court order before they can finally destroy the drugs confiscated. We’d like to find out anong magandang gawin para di ma-recycle ang drugs on account of stocking.”

Related: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for PDEA and DDB

During the hearing, Justice Peralta suggested that methods should be devised to make photos and videos can be used as evidence. Sen. Lacson added safeguards should be made against image manipulation. “One argument you should be prepared for, is in this day and age of Photoshop… That would be an argument raised when you defend.”

Sen. Lacson also raised the question of how to dispose of seized drugs if the case is still in the preliminary investigation stage and has not reached the courts. “Who will order the destruction while (the case) has not reached the court? … Personal experience ko kasi as law enforcer, it takes a long time before a reso is arrived at. Sometimes months, or probably years. Hindi pa ma-resolve ng prosecutor.”

For his part, Administrator Marquez suggested that they set a threshold on the volume of seized drugs that would require the judge to conduct an ocular inspection. “If it is below the threshold, there is no need for an ocular inspection,” he said.