PDEA-6 burns P95.5-M worth of illegal drugs

Alex Tablate (2nd from right), director of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6, leads the thermal destruction of the P95.5 million worth of illegal drugs at the Acropolis Gardens in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City Friday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Authorities burned P95,549,936.82 worth of illegal drugs at the Acropolis Gardens in Barangay Bata here yesterday.

Alex Tablate, director of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6, said 11,723.60 grams of shabu worth P93,788,833.60, and 12,431.0244 grams of marijuana worth P1,761,103.2267 were destroyed as mandated by Section 21 (Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment) of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Adonis Abueva, chief of the PDEA-6 laboratory, said that after the filing of the criminal case, the court shall, within 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.

Within 24 hours thereafter, PDEA will 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 Department of Justice, civil society groups and any elected public official, based on the said law.

Abueva said the Acropolis Gardens is a place capable for the thermal destruction as the illegal drugs undergo two burning processes.

“Iyong end product is steam na lang and carbon dioxide which are not harmful to the environment and the people in case may lumabas na fumes,” he added.

Abueva said that all the recovered illegal drugs undergo Simon’s test to confirm authenticity.

Included in the thermal destruction were the recoveries of the police and PDEA this year at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port here with P20.4 million worth of shabu; the P34 million worth of shabu in Escalante City, Negros Occidental; and the P13.6 million worth of shabu in San Carlos City in the province.

“This is so far the biggest,” Tablate said, referring to the value of illegal drugs that were destroyed in Western Visayas.

This is the second thermal destruction conducted by PDEA-6 here, after they have conducted the first one in March, wherein they destroyed P6.5 million worth of illegal drugs.

Tablate stressed the role of the public in the elimination of illegal drugs in the society. “This is not just the work of the police or PDEA, importante din ang role ng communities sa pagbigay ng information sa awtoridad,” he said.

Tablate thanked the courts for their positive actions on drug cases. “Pataas ang worth ng sinusunog natin, compared before kasi dati tinatapos talaga ang kaso bago sunugin, but ngayon, pwede na kahit ongoing pa ang kaso,” Tablate said.

Tablate said the purpose of the thermal destruction is to erase the doubt of the public on drug recoveries.

“Sinusunog talaga natin iyong drugs na marecover from operations,” he added.