CEBU CITY – At least PHP152.6 million worth of illegal drugs were destroyed on Wednesday using the crematorium of a funeral parlor in the downtown area here, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visayas said.
PDEA-7 regional director Levi Ortiz said most of the drugs destroyed at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes were confiscated in different anti-drug operations conducted by the agency, the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Ortiz said some of the drugs worth PHP149.9 million -- mostly shabu -- were submitted as evidence in drug-related cases and with order from the court for its destruction.
The remaining drugs worth PHP2.7 million did not involve cases filed in court but were included in the destruction process.
The destroyed drugs include 4,229 tablets of party drugs, 2,074 capsules, and 12 ampoules containing shabu.
Also destroyed were marijuana, Nalbuphine (opioid) and various drugs confiscated but with no cases filed in court.
Before the destruction, PDEA-7 acting chief chemist Reina Jean Asdillo led the testing of the drugs before placing them in the cremation chamber.
Lawyer Paul Clarence Oaminal, former vice chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board who was present in the event, said the public destruction of dangerous drugs is a “fulfilment of his duty as a citizen” to ensure a zero-drug community.
Oaminal commended the PDEA-7 for its serious compliance with Section 6 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or Republic Act 9165, as amended by RA 10640.
The law provides for the custody and disposition of dangerous drugs confiscated by law enforcement agencies.
“We dream to fulfill former Congressman Antonio Cuenco’s wish for Cebu to build its own incineration chamber so that the PDEA in Region 7 will have a regular destruction of seized drugs,” Oaminal said, adding that this project needs clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and approval from Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Oaminal also said he is also pushing for the city government's approval of a measure that seeks to provide “court duty allowance” to policemen and other law enforcement agencies who will attend drug-related cases in court. (PNA)