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PIA Press Release

PGMA acts on low resolution of drug cases

Manila (17 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gathered all government drug enforcement agencies to review and institutionalize the components and details that form the enforcement pillar in the campaign for a drug-free Philippines.

The conference on "Effective Prosecution of Drug Cases" held this morning at Malacanang's Heroes Hall was attended by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the military and police.

"The events of the past couple of months have highlighted the need for offices in the law enforcement pillar against illegal drugs to share vision and harmonize their operations so that the syndicates and peddlers of illegal drugs are brought to justice and penalized in accordance with law and the procedures of the law," Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Vicente Sotto III said.

Sotto said the conference/seminar was organized for the law enforcement agencies to "hear what it is that judges look for when they hear and decide cases" to achieve a higher percentage of conviction on drug cases filed in court.

DDB data showed that of the 99,754 illegal drugs cases filed from 203 to 2008, only 22 percent was resolved. Of the total resolved cases, only 32 percent resulted in convictions, 31 percent in acquitted, 27 percent in dismissal and 11 percent provisionally dismissed.

Sotto has noted that there has been low resolution rate of cases thus, a need to review "buy-bust operation," a specific area of concern "where lapses and technicalities are prone to be pointed out by defense lawyers.

Justice Lucas Bersamin gave a special lecture on "RA 9165: Enforcement of the Law Through Successful Prosecution of the Offenders" to ensure that law enforcers build up and document their cases in accordance with law and proper procedure to assure prosecutors that the accused brought before the courts are probably guilty of the crime charged.

Bersamin discussed effective buy-bust operations, warrantless arrest, consented search, preservation of evidence that are admissible in court, among others.

"The judiciary is very attentive to evidence," Bersamin stressed.

It is expected that after the seminar, law enforcers will harmonize their actions and win the war against the peddlers of illegal substances. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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