Justice dep’t to prioritize drug cases


JUSTICE SECRETARY Menardo Guevarra is set to issue a memorandum directing prosecutors to prioritize illegal drug cases to meet the requirements under the law for the immediate destruction of seized narcotics. “In accordance with the President’s directive, the Department of Justice (DoJ) will issue a memo circular to all prosecutors investigating drug cases to give top priority to the resolution of the same, to file the informations ASAP, and to move for a court order to conduct an ocular inspection of and destroy the seized drugs, precursors, within the time specified in RA (Republic Act) 9165,” Mr. Guevarra said in a statement on Wednesday. President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in a televised talk on Monday evening, ordered the immediate destruction of all seized drugs to avoid reselling by rogue law enforcers. Police chief Gen. Camilo P. Cascolan said implementation of the policy is doable. “Mas maganda ho talaga kung mabilisan. Sa isang araw kaya hong gawin yan (It’s really better that we do it swiftly. In one day that can be done),” he said in a press conference on Wednesday. He said currently, the process of disposal usually takes 14 days but they have been working with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to further reduce it to less than 10 days. The country’s top cop said it is possible to shorten it to one day with closer coordination among agencies, including the court. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

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