Agents of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region III (PDEA3) confiscated P500,000 worth of psychotropic and narcotic drugs during the raid of four drug stores in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija last January 11.
The simultaneous implementation of search warrants against the owners of the four pharmacies operating along the busy Mabini Street also resulted in the arrest of the employees.
In a press conference at the PDEA3 office last Friday, Regional Office Director Joseph Ladip said the more than 10 drug store employees, most of them women, may face charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, for possession and dispensation of dangerous drugs.
In a report submitted to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, the PDEA3 identified the four drug stores as Duran Drug Store, Twin Pharmacy, Maru Drug Store and Shen Mica Drug Store.
Ladip said that psychotropic and narcotic drugs are considered dangerous drugs but can be used and purchased for legitimate purposes. Examples of these drugs are “Valium and Nalbuphine Hydrochloride” which directly acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain in moderate amount and excessive use will lead to drug dependents and drug abuse.
“These dangerous drugs are the new choice of drugs of poly-drug users because of its cheaper price and its effects last longer than shabu, marijuana and other illicit drugs,” he said.
Joyce Lacson, PDEA3 Regulation Officer said psychotropic drugs are considered dangerous drugs because of hypnotic effect and they are readily available in the market because of its medical use but amidst of its medical use, they have tendencies to be abused if they are not properly administered and monitored by medical practitioners.
“Ang mga ito ay available sa botika pero hindi lahat ng botika ay pwedeng magbenta ng dangerous drugs na ito kaya kailangan nilang kumuha ng lisensya sa PDEA,” she added.
The following dangerous drug were seized during the simultaneous raids: 48 pieces of Nalbin Ampoule; 2,422 pieces of valium Diazepam, 2,338 pieces of Rivotil Clonazepam; 1,175 pieces of Stilmox Zolpidem; 71 pcs Valium Diazepam Ampoules, 98 pieces of Avamigran and four pieces of amber glass ampoule ephedrine, three (3) pieces of amber glass vial of ketamine hydrochloride and 10 pieces clear glass of Fentanyl Citrate with an estimated street value of P500,000.
The arrested suspects are now temporarily detained at PDEA3 Jail Facility for further investigation to ascertain their culpability.