A MEASURE that strengthens the capabilities of law enforcement agencies was filed in the House of Representatives in support of the war against dangerous drugs.
House Bill 588, authored by Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil is now awaiting deliberation in the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
As a former police general, Bataoil underscored the need to amend the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or Republic Act 1965 in order to make it more effective in the campaign against illegal drugs.
House Bill 588 seeks to strengthen the anti-illegal drug units of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) by enhancing its facilities, increasing its manpower and developing a systemic, wide-scope inter-agency partnership.
Assistant Secretary Ricardo Quinto, PDEA Deputy Director General for Operations, welcomed the proposed upgrading of the PDEA facilities and equipment as it will benefit even the PDEA Academy, which can accommodate 150 students for a six-month program.
Quinto proposed the establishment of drug forensic laboratories for PDEA’s benefit since other drug enforcement agencies already have their own crime laboratories across the country.
Meanwhile, two more bills 3406 and 3733, introduced by committee chairman Rep. Robert Ace Barbers and Manila Rep. Cristal Bagatsing, respectively, seek the exclusion of suspected drug-related activities from the scope of the anti-wiretapping law.
To date, the committee’s technical working group is working to consolidate measures amending the Dangerous Drug Act.
To be included provision is the imposition of higher prescribed penalty, including death, to an alien found guilty of trafficking illegal drugs.
“RA 9346 prohibits the imposition of death penalty in the Philippines. However, there are some sectors in society who believe this law is not just and equitable because, while foreigners cannot be executed in the Philippines for drug trafficking, Filipinos who committed the same offense in their jurisdiction face an opposite situation,” Cagayan de Oro Rep MAximo Rodriguez, one of the authors, said.
Rodriguez added that the life imprisonment penalty in the country, as opposed to the penalties that they suffer in their countries, which in some cases death, has emboldened foreign nationals to conduct their illegal trade here.