P96-M illegal drugs incinerated in Western Visayas – Manila Bulletin

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PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Western Visayas Director Alex Tablate (center) leads the thermal destruction of 96 million pesos worth of illegal drugs at the Acropolis Gardens in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City, Friday, June 24. (Glazyl Masculino)

BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Western Visayas (Region 6) burned P95,549,936.82 worth of illegal drugs through thermal destruction at the Acropolis Gardens in Barangay Bata here on Friday June 24.

This is the largest burn of illegal drugs seized in the region to date, PDEA-Western Visayas Director Alex Tablate revealed.

Tablate 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.

Among those burned were the huge recoveries of illegal drugs from the police and PDEA in the area – the 20.4 million peso shabu at the port of Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) in January and the 34 million peso shabu in Escalante City, Negros Occidental in March and the 13.6 million peso shabu in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental recently.

Adonis Abueva, head of the PDEA-Western Visayas Laboratory, explained that the procedure is mandated under Section 21 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Abueva cited Section 21 of RA 9165 which states: “After the filing of the criminal case, the court shall, within 72 hours, carry out an eye inspection of the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals, including laboratory instruments/accessories and/or equipment, and through the PDEA, will, within 24 hours, destroy or cremation thereof, in the presence of the accused or of the person or persons from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his representative or counsel, a representative of the media and the Ministry of Justice , civil society groups and any elected public official.

Abueva said that Acropolis Gardens was selected to conduct the procedure because it is able to destroy illegal drugs without harming the environment and people, as the substances undergo two combustion processes.

He noted that the end product of thermal destruction is steam (water) and carbon dioxide which is not harmful in case people can inhale its vapors.

He also said that all seized items subjected to thermal destruction were confirmed to be illegal drugs as they underwent Simon’s test.

Tablate said the purpose of thermal destruction is to erase public doubt about drug recoveries, pointing out that they are really meant to be destroyed.

He emphasized the role of the public in eliminating illegal drugs in society by providing information to authorities.

Last March, the PDEA also destroyed here 6.5 million pesos worth of illegal drugs seized in the region.

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