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P77M seized drugs ‘cremated’ in Cebu

POLICE and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officials in Central Visayas on Tuesday literally ‘cremated’ an estimated P77 million worth of shabu and other prohibited drugs they seized in the region, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

Police Regional Office 7 director, Brigadier General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro and PDEA Region 7 Director Levi S. Ortiz led the destruction thru thermal decomposition of the confiscated dangerous drugs at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, Inc. in Bgy. Kalubihan, Cebu City.

Ferro said the destroyed drugs are composed of 12,157.43 grams of assorted pieces of evidence composed of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, marijuana, ephedrine and nalbuphine hydrochloride or Nubain which were confiscated in anti-narcotics operations in Central and Eastern Visayas.

The PDEA Laboratory Service said the drugs include nearly 11.2 kilograms of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth nearly P76.1 million, almost 1.08 kilos of dried marijuana leaves, 32.80 grams of ephedrine and 2 grams of Nubain.

Also included in the destruction were some P1.9 million worth of expired medicines confiscated by local authorities.

The destruction of the dangerous drugs is in compliance with the guidelines set on the custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs required under Section 21, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 as amended by Republic Act 10640 and Dangerous Drugs Board Resolution No. 1, Series of 2002.

The PDEA headed by Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva thanked the different branches of Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) in Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and Tacloban City for the expeditious prosecution and disposition of drug cases that led to the destruction of illegal drugs that were no longer needed as evidence in court.

Prior to the destruction, the dangerous drugs were tested by PDEA chemists to dispel doubts the substances had been replaced.

Certificates of Destruction will be submitted to the RTCs that issued the Court Order for destruction as proof that the drug evidence had been destroyed, said Villanueva.