Prosecutors nationwide will prioritize and speed up the handling of illegal drugs cases to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to destroy seized illegal drugs within a week is observed, assured Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Wednesday (Oct. 7).
“In accordance with the president’s directive, the DOJ will issue a memo circular to all prosecutors investigating drug cases to give top priority to the resolution of the same, to file the informations asap, and to move for a court order to conduct ocular inspection of and destroy the seized drugs, precursors, etc within the time specified in RA 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002),” he said.
Guevarra explained the President’s order is in accordance with RA 9165 which which “requires the trial courts, within 72 hours from the filing of the criminal information, to conduct an ocular inspection of the illegal drugs, precursors, paraphernalia, etc, and thereafter proceed to burn or destroy the same, thru the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), within 24 hours after the inspection. a representative sample of the seized drugs will be retained for use during the trial of the case.”
“Thus, law enforcement agents must file the criminal complaints immediately so that the destruction of the seized drugs could proceed as early as possible,” Guevarra advised all law enforcement agencies.