Press Release
September 16, 2019

Drilon: PDEA chief's admission that 'recycling' of illegal drugs a sign that anti-drug campaign is failing

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a former justice secretary, expressed alarm and disappointment over the admission of Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino, chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), that recycling of illegal drugs is still rampant despite the administration's bloody war against illegal drugs that killed thousands of suspected drug users and pushers.

Drilon said that Aquino's admission that confiscated drugs are being recycled with the assistance of law enforcers is a sign that the campaign against illegal drugs, the cornerstone of the Duterte administration, is failing.

"I am disgusted and dismayed by the report of the PDEA that recycling of shabuis rampant," Drilon said.

"This is worrisome. This is a decades-old case of bantay-salakay, wherein the people who are given the task of enforcing the law insofar as drug trafficking is concerned are the ones who lead the anomalous practices," Drilon said.

"Given that admission, I am not very optimistic about the success of the anti-drug campaign, in general," he added.

Drilon praised Aquino for his candor, saying that this is need so there an be a bi-partisan approach to solve this problem.

The PDEA chief also revealed about a suspected "drug queen" roaming the streets of Metro Manila to buy "recycled" drugs.

"We have to put an end to this horrible practice in order to win the campaign against illegal drugs," he stressed.

He recalled how as justice secretary, he would hear unbelievable and absurd alibis when he would question police officers how the confiscated illegal drugs differ from the amount of drugs presented to the court evidence.

"When I was secretary of justice and this was years ago, I already heard of this when we would call our witness and confront him on the missing amount of drugs confiscated, he would say, 'Sir, kinain po ng daga,'" Drilon said.

"Unfortunately today, it is even on a larger scale, mukhang mas malaki ang mga daga ngayon,"he quipped, as it was revealed that around P22 billion of shabuare still in the inventory of the PDEA.

"Can you imagine, P22 billion worth of inventory of shabudating back in 2010, when, in fact, nine years ago it should have been destroyed. The temptation is always there. You have to spend a lot of budget in order to make sure that this does not happen, but it can be prevented by destroying the drugs, within the period required and with proper authorization," Drilon said.

Drilon said that specific measures must be undertaken to prevent this "horrible" practice from continuing.

Drilon said he will request the Office of the Court Administrator to give special attention and more rigorous enforcement of the law on the burning of drugs confiscated.

He emphasized Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which provides that: "After the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall, within seventy-two (72) hours, conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals, including the instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, and through the PDEA shall within twenty-four (24) hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same, in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the DOJ, civil society groups and any elected public official."

The senator also said he will move for an additional budget for the PDEA to reopen a PDEA unit in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, after its old unit was closed.

News Latest News Feed