DRUG recycling is still rampant despite the government war on illegal drugs.
This was confirmed on Monday by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino during the budget hearing in the Senate.
Aquino said a suspected female drug lord buying confiscated drugs from government agents is being pursued by authorities.
Aquino made the statement upon questioning of Senator Panfilo Lacson during the hearing on the proposed P2.497-billion budget of PDEA for 2020.
“We have to find a resolution to this festering issue. Social menace ito, ‘di lang law enforcement problem. If we have P22 billion worth of drugs seized, P20 billion of which is shabu and as far back as nine years ago, we really have a serious problem,” said Lacson.
Aquino, meanwhile, refused to name the Manila-based female drug lord, saying they wanted to neutralize her first.
“I-neutralize muna namin ang drug queen na ito,” he said.
PDEA is also asking for an additional P1.5454 billion for 2020 for the training of 1,000 drug enforcement officers (P200 million); short firearms (P35 million) and long firearms (P200 million); communication equipment (P14.7 million); protective equipment (P162.5 million); uniforms for 1,000 Drug Enforcement Officers (P100 million); enhancing PDEA presence in provinces including vehicles (P103.2 million); enhancing drug detection capability, raman spectroscopy and x-ray equipment (P800 million).
In the same hearing Lacson urged Supreme Court to put its foot down on judges who refuse to abide by the law saying within 72 hours, confiscated drugs should be destroyed.
“There’s still P22 billion worth of drugs in the inventory of PDEA. They have already destroyed P55 billion pero meron pa ring P22 billion na iba roon, as far back as 2010 nila na-confiscate, and the law provides that within 72 hours kailangan masira,” Lacson said.
“So we will plead with the SC to find a way to help PDEA, may be through the intercession of the Senate, to fast-track or expedite the destruction of drugs. Because dito ang problema natin sa recycling. Pag na-recycle ang drugs, hindi lang corruption issue ito kundi may social menace issue ito. If drugs already confiscated will find its way in the open market because nare-recycle, sayang ang efforts ng law enforcement,” he added.