President Duterte orders destruction of seized illegal narcotics

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday said he wants illegal narcotics in government storage destroyed within a week to prevent unscrupulous anti-drug operatives from recycling the contrabands and peddling them on the streets.

“So I want all the shabu residual or otherwise, however minimal, destroyed, the whole of it by next week. You have so many days to do it one week. Do it in one week. Destroy and get specimen,” President Duterte said in a televised address.

The seized contrabands should be crushed immediately after investigation to keep errant anti-drug operatives from stealing, reusing and selling the illegal drugs, the President said.

To protect public welfare, President Duterte appealed to the Supreme Court to support his stance explaining that mandatory and immediate destruction of seized narcotics will prevent anti-drug government personnel from entering the drug trade.

“So we can more or less improve things, better protect the Filipino people while doing a concerted action immediately after just a few — I hope the Supreme Court will agree with me — just a few days after, they should be destroyed and be accounted for accurately. But as I said, sans the practice of stealing and recycling,” he said.

In his address, President Duterte cited the case of an anti-drug operative caught smuggling illegal drugs.

“So hindi ako nag-ano, hindi naman lahat, few of them, far and wide in between the years itong shabu. Pero may mga pulis na ganoon. Ninanakaw o kaya hindi nire-report. Iyon ‘yon, ‘yung sila [former Police Colonel Eduardo] Acierto, ganoon ang style noon. Magnakaw 20 kilos, i-report ang one kilo, ‘yung 19 i-recycle, ipagbili ulit,” he noted.

After assuming office in 2016, President Duterte issued a command memorandum circular No. 16-2016 or the “PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign Plan Project: Double Barrel” directing the police force to clear all drug-affected areas across the country and “conduct no let-up operations against illegal drugs personalities as well as dismantle drug syndicates”.

The President issued a memorandum in October 2017 for the implementation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 authorizing Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take the lead in the country’s anti-illegal drug operations while instructing police personnel to maintain police visibility aimed at deterring illegal activities.

In August 2018, several government anti-drug operatives were arrested for their involvement in smuggling illegal drugs worth billions of pesos concealed inside magnetic lifters at the Port of Manila and Cavite City, respectively.