PDEA destroys P18-M illegal drugs, expired medicines in Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao (Region 10) on Monday, May 22, destroyed illegal drugs and expired medicines valued at over P18 million through thermal destruction in a cremation facility in this city.


PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 10 personnel prepare confiscated illegal drugs for destruction in a cremation facility in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, May 22. (Franck Dick Rosete)

PDEA-Region 10 Director Emerson Margate said these consisted of P17,231,572.65 shabu, P617,555.34 marijuana, and P569,745 expired medicines.

Margate assured that these illegal drugs, evidence from various anti-drug operations turned over to them since September last year, were destroyed in full.

He said only he, the regional chemist, and the evidence custodian have the keys to the facility where these illegal drugs were stored to prevent recycling or pilferage.

Margate said their signatures should be secured prior to retrieval. "That’s how stringent the security is here," he added.

Coop said the destruction of illegal drugs aims to inform the public that no recycling happened. "It’s already common knowledge that if there’s an accomplishment by our law enforcement agencies related to drugs, the return, they're saying it's recycled. So, our efforts were sometimes discredited. So, I am glad that PDEA has this kind of activity," Police Regional Office (PRO)-10 chief Police Brig. Gen. Lawrence Coop said.

Margate said destruction of confiscated drugs takes time as they gather these to save costs and wait for the court order.

He said they can also have confiscated illegal drugs that have already received court orders for destruction destroyed along with other dangerous drugs from other regions especially if they are also conducting the same activity.

"What we also do, for example, here in Mindanao, if there are still a few (of illegal drugs) and the other regions are going to destroy (the dangerous drugs in their custody), for example, in Region 13 in Butuan, we go along with them," Margate said in a press conference after the event.

The destruction was led by Margate and Coop and witnessed by representatives from the Department of Justice, the Public Attorneys’ Office, the city government of Cagayan de Oro, and Barangay 15 here.