By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

DESTROYED. The stockpile of illegal drugs was destroyed at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. (IWMI) facility in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City, Cavite on Thursday (June 6, 2024). A total of 2,435.62 kg. were destroyed during the procedure, which include the 1.2 tons of shabu intercepted in a checkpoint operation on April 15 in Batangas province. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday destroyed PHP9.1 billion worth of dangerous drugs and controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. (IWMI) in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City, Cavite.

In a statement, the agency said the stockpile of narcotics weighed a total of 2,435.62 kg., which included the 1.2 tons of shabu intercepted in a checkpoint operation on April 15 in Barangay Pinagkurusan, Alitagtag, Batangas.

“The pieces of drug evidence were destroyed through thermal decomposition or thermolysis, which involves breaking down chemical compounds with the use of tremendous heat. At 1,000 degrees centigrade, all dangerous drugs are decomposed or broken down,’’ the anti-drug body added.

The destroyed illegal drugs comprised pieces of evidence seized from various anti-drug operations conducted by PDEA, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement and military units.

PDEA added that the expeditious prosecution and disposition of drug cases prompted the immediate destruction of these drugs after these were presented as pieces of evidence.

Representatives from the PNP, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government; local officials of Barangay Aguado, other law enforcement agencies; non-government organizations (NGOs); and media partners joined key PDEA officials in witnessing the destruction activity.

“There is no other way to address the lingering concern of the public that confiscated illegal drugs are being recycled and pilfered than to destroy them as quickly as possible,” PDEA added.

Watch vs. ‘drug money’

Ahead of next year’s midterm polls, the Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said it is a keeping a close watch against illegal drug operations which maybe used to fund election-related activities of some politicians.

“Sabi po nila kapag malapit na ang eleksyon marami po kailangan na pera. Tunay po yan, ito na ang nangyayari. Sino ang nagpapadala. So yun po (They say when elections near, many are in dire need of money. That is true. That is what is happening. Who is sending money? That’s it.) We have to talk to PDEA and discuss what’s our strategy,” PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said in a radio interview.

Marbil said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed the PNP to mount aggressive operations against syndicates and high-profile drug personalities.

The PNP chief added this shift of focus in the government’s anti-drug campaign has produced good results.

“If you will see, we are much better than the previous six months kasi dito ang tingin natin every six months ang evaluation, kung maganda yung statistics natin (because now, we are having an evaluation every six months, as to whether we have good statistics) but after that, I just want it quarterly. Gusto ko quarterly kung gumaganda (I want to see if we have improving results on a quarterly basis) and we have the resources, especially right now,” he added.

During Tuesday’s command conference with the Chief Executive, the PNP reported the conduct of 92,904 operations, which led to the arrest of 116,740 individuals and seizure of PHP11.89 billion worth of illegal drugs. (PNA)