P21.5-M shabu, marijuana destroyed in Cebu City

Published May 31, 2021, 2:54 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

BURNED – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 7 and the Police Regional Office-Region 7 (PRO-7) destroy seized shabu and marijuana valued at P21.5 million thru incineration at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in Cebu City Monday. (Juan Carlo de Vela)
CEBU CITY – Shabu and marijuana seized by the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in various operations valued at P21.5 million were destroyed through incineration here Monday.

The illegal drugs destroyed through the thermal facility of the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes were composed of 3,163.4204 grams of shabu and 180.966 grams of marijuana.

Levi Ortiz, director of the PDEA-Central Visayas (PDEA Region 7), said the illegal drugs came from various operations of the PDEA Region 7 and the police.

“These were part of the seizures of the PDEA 7 and police. Charges have been filed and the courts have issued orders for the destruction,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said more seized illegal drugs will be destroyed in the future.

“This is the fifth destruction of seized illegal drugs since I assumed as PDEA 7 director. Once given a court order, we will immediately destroy illegal drugs that were used as court evidence to eliminate fears that these are being recycled. This (destruction) is going to be a continuing activity,” said Ortiz, who was named PDEA Region 7 director in June 2020.

Ortiz assured that seized illegal drugs being kept in PDEA Region 7 for safekeeping will not be recycled. “Only three persons have the key of our evidence room: Me, the chief chemist, and the evidence custodian,” said Ortiz.

Gracing the destruction was Marlon Jay Moneva, executive judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), who pointed out that destroying illegal drugs as soon as possible is required under the law.

“When there are motions from the PDEA, we immediately issue court orders so that they can proceed with the destruction. It is not just a discretion of the judge to issue court orders but it is a duty,” Moneva said.

Moneva said RTC courts handling drug cases are faced with thousands of pending cases. “We have five branches handling drug cases and each branch has an average of 1,500 to 2,000 cases,” said Moneva.

He assured that the RTC will work closely with the PDEA Region 7 so that court orders for the destruction of seized illegal drugs will be issued right away.