MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers have reminded anti-drug operatives to file cases against individuals behind the importation and sale of illegal drugs in order to stop the trade, instead of just seizing and destroying the banned substances.
In a statement on Friday, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said that the cases need to be air-tight as this is important in securing the country’s future.
Barbers heads the House committee on dangerous drugs.
“All our efforts will be in vain if the cases filed in court will result in dismissals and the suspects set free due to some technicality or bungling,” Barbers said, after attending the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s destruction of illegal drugs worth P6 billion, at a facility in Trece Martires City, Cavite.
“We have to make sure that our cases are air-tight so that the culprits are put behind bars for good thus ensuring a safer society and saving our youth and all citizens from this menace,” he added.
Reports from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that the illicit substances were seized during different operations nationwide.
PDEA said among those destroyed were 313 kilograms of marijuana, 274 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu — including those that were intercepted at the Manila International Container Port last October 6 — and 208 kilograms of Dimethyl Sulfone, a chemical used to produce shabu.
Aside from Barbers, House Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Sta. Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, and Patrol party-list Rep. Jorge Bustos were present during the destruction of the illegal drugs.
According to Gonzales, they oversaw the destruction of the drugs as part of their job, as House members probing the “bloodless” anti-illegal drug campaign of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Our presence there was part of our job as House members who are looking into recent drug confiscations and the trade in illegal drugs in general upon the instruction of Speaker Martin Romualdez,” Gonzales said.
“Our inquiry is in consonance with the bloodless anti-drug campaign of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., which has so far netted more than P30 billion worth of illegal substances,” he added.
Gonzales and Barbers filed a resolution to probe the two high-profile drug busts in Pampanga — the discovery of shabu in an abandoned car and the seizure of drugs from a warehouse in a controlled delivery operation — which happened just a month apart.
Last October 9, Barbers’ committee started investigations into the operations, with the panel eventually learning that the land used by the warehouse in Mexico, Pampanga where illegal drugs were seized once belonged to former mayor Teddy Tumang’s brother.
Tumang denied involvement in the illegal drug trade.