THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) destroyed 952.69 kilograms of illegal drugs worth P6 billion in Cavite on Friday.
According to the PDEA Laboratory Service, the drugs that were disposed through “thermal decomposition” were “shabu” worth P4.4 billion; liquid shabu, P1.6 billion; cocaine, P314,374; ketamine, P1.5 million; and marijuana, P135,034.95.
Thermal decomposition is the process by which the compounds that form the illegal drugs are broken down into single units by using heat, making their reconstruction impossible.
Other drugs seized were expired medicines, ephedrine, benzphetamine HCI, N-benzylpiperazine, zolpiden, propanolol, sodium carbonate, valium, nitrazepam, nalbuphine, clonazepam, alprazolam, midazolam, methylphenidate, MDMA, codeine, and pseudoephedrine.
Prior to their disposal, the confiscated drugs were said to have been kept and used as evidence against drug suspects in court cases. They underwent “thermal decomposition” at the Integrated Waste Management Incorporated (IWMI) in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martirez City.
Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1 series of 2002 and Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 both stated the legality of the PDEA’s task of incinerating seized illegal drugs.
“We want the public to witness the destruction of dangerous drugs seized by drug enforcement officers to allay public apprehensions that these illegal drugs and illicit substances are being reused, recycled, or sold back in the streets,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said.
On October 4, when the Philippine National Police (PNP) led the drug war, Senator Richard Gordon criticized PDEA for failing to collect and burn all seized drugs worth at least P12.7 billion since the anti-drug campaign was launched in 2016.
On October 10, President Rodrigo Duterte assigned PDEA as the “sole agency” to handle anti-drug operations in the country amid allegations that the PNP campaign resulted in extrajudicial killings. RJ CARBONELL