This is so far the biggest burning of seized illegal drugs in the region, PDEA-Western Visayas Director Alex Tablate disclosed.
Tablate said that 11,723.60 grams of shabu worth P93,788,833.60 and 12,431.0244 grams of marijuana valued at P1,761,103.2267 were destroyed.
Among those burned were the huge illegal drug recoveries of the police and PDEA in the region – the P20.4-million shabu at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port in January and the P34-million shabu in Escalante City, Negros Occidental in March and the P13.6-million shabu in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental recently.
Adonis Abueva, chief of the PDEA-Western Visayas laboratory, explained that the procedure is mandated under Section 21 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Abueva cited Section 21 of RA 9165 that states: “After the filing of the criminal case, the court shall, within 72 hours, conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals, including the instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, and through the PDEA shall within 24 hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same, in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice, civil society groups, and any elected public official.”
Abueva said Acropolis Gardens was selected to conduct the procedure as it is capable of destroying the illegal drugs without harming the environment and the people as the substances undergo two burning processes.
He noted that the end product of the thermal destruction is steam (water) and carbon dioxide which are not harmful in case people may inhale its fumes.
He also said that all the seized items subjected to thermal destruction were confirmed to be illegal drugs as it underwent Simon’s Test.
Tablate said the purpose of the thermal destruction is to erase the doubt of the public on drug recoveries, stressing that they are really meant to be destroyed.
He stressed the role of the public in the elimination of illegal drugs in the society by giving information to the authorities.
Last March, PDEA also destroyed here P6.5-million worth of illegal drugs seized in the region.