7,208

Seized drug evidence intact, inventory shows -- Dela Rosa

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 273

ALL drug evidence in major Crime Laboratory storage facilities in the country are intact as an
unannounced massive inventory last month showed, Philippine National Police chief, Director General
Ronald ‘Bato’ M. Dela Rosa told the Journal Group.

The PNP chief ordered the surprise inventory of all seized drug evidence stored  in
different regional crime laboratory offices nationwide last week amid an information he received
regarding alleged ‘recycling’ of drugs at the Crime Lab’s Southern Police District office.
    
“There was an information that some drug evidence are being recycled at the SPD Crime
Laboratory and we have to confirm that, thus the surprise inspection,” Dela Rosa said.
    
The top cop said  the surprise inventory showed that all confiscated drug evidence under the
custody of the Crime Lab offices in the National Capital Region and Police Regional Offices 4 and 4
-A are all intact.
    
PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Deputy Director General Fernando H. Mendez Jr. said  they
conducted the unannounced inventory  for a week.
    
Executive officers from the different PNP Directorial Staff and officials of the PNP
Intelligence Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group
conducted the  inspection.
    
Gen. Dela Rosa said that they  see to it that there will be no room for any irregularities
when it comes to the safekeeping and custody of all drug evidence being seized by the police in its
anti-narcotics operations in Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
    
PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent John C. Bulalacao  also told the public to understand
that there is a big difference between the ongoing PNP Oplan: Tokhang with police buy-bust
operations and anti-drug raids which results in the confiscation of dangerous drugs and weapons from
drug targets.
    
The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 explained that Oplan:
Tokhang is aimed at convincing identified drug personalities to yield and avail of the government
wellness and recovery programs.
    
“This is a pro-life program with no shots to be fired by officers knocking on the doors of
target drug personalities and persuading them to surrender and stop their illegal drug activities,”
Bulalacao said while echoing Gen. Dela Rosa’s assurance of a ‘more active but less bloody’ anti-drug
operations this year.
    
Bulalacao said that since Oplan: Tokhang resumed last January 29, no casualties have been
recorded in all 17 regions across the country to date. He cited reports from the PNP Directorate for
Operations which monitored the conduct of 3,456 ‘Tokhang’ activities, resulting in the surrender of
1,573 confessed drug offenders nationwide, 586 of them  from Northern Mindanao which is under Police
Regional Office 10 and 401 in the National Capital Region.
    
The official, however, said  from December 5, 2017 to last Thursday, police nationwide have
arrested 6,253 drug personalities as a result of 4,058 operations conducted and 53 armed suspects
died in firefights with officers conducting buy-bust operations, drug raids and other interdiction
operations, he said.
    
There is an existing PNP policy which states that all drug evidence recovered during anti-
narcotics operations should be immediately deposited with the PNP Crime Laboratory.
    
The inventory of Crime Lab evidence came at the same time Dangerous Drugs Board chairman
Catalino S. Cuy and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino
supervised the destruction of nearly P546 million worth of seized drug evidence thru thermal
composition in a Malabon plant.
    
It was the third destruction of confiscated drug evidence to be made by the PDEA since
Aquino took over the agency on September last year.
    
The first was on October 12 in which a total of P10,671,263 of controlled precursors and
essential chemicals (CPECs) and laboratory equipment was destroyed.  The second one was on November
10, where a total of P6,001,826,947.80 worth of dangerous drugs was destroyed.
    
Destroyed through thermal decomposition were 112,078.28 grams of methamphetamine
hydrochloride, or shabu, worth P560,391,400; 181.77 grams of cocaine worth P763,434; 340.64 grams of
marijuana worth P34,064; 375.59 grams of ecstasy worth P2,271,713.71; 0.38 gram of ephedrine worth
P15.20; 1,536.60 grams of nitrazepam; and 5,000 grams of expired medicines.