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PIA Press Release

Low resolution rate of drug cases noted

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (20 February) -- All government drug enforcement agencies have been urged to review and institutionalize the components and details forming the enforcement pillar in the country's fight for a drug-free Philippines.

Data from the Dangerous Drugs Board 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.

Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Vicente Sotto III 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.

In Negros Oriental, more than half of the drug personalities identified by the Provincial Police Office have been neutralized by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) here as of October last year, disclosed Fernando Martinez, action officer of the Negros Oriental Drug Abuse Prevention Council (NORDAPC) in a Kapihan forum held by the Philippine Information Agency on Nov. 13, 2008.

In the same forum, it was learned that 98 illegal drug pushers and users have been arrested from January to October 2008.

Of the total arrests, 32 were drug pushers and 66 drug users.

The arrests led to 96 cases filed in court for violation of RA9165 while two cases were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here as it involved minors for vilation of PD 1619, said P/Insp. Edgar Deposoy of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PAIDSOTF) in the same forum.

Recently, all government drug enforcement agencies in the country gathered for a conference on "Effective Prosecution of Drug Cases" held at Malacanang's Heroes Hall.

The conference 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," Sotto 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. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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