Cops’ ‘lack of training’ results to weak drug cases

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MORE than 50 percent of drug cases filed in Davao City alone have been dismissed because of lack of training by arresting officers.

Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Judge Pelagio Paguican said this is among the main issues raised during their anti-drug forum recently.

Most of the cases dismissed were due to violations of Section 21 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which covers Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment.


"Kana man nang dili ma-follow ang requirements (That is when requirements are not followed)," he said.

It was thus proposed that a manual of operation for law enforcers be made, which will list the step-by-step procedures in making arrests in relation to drug use and abuse.

The forum was attended by judges, representatives from the Department of Justice, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Public Attorney's Office, among others.

Paguican said the step-by-step procedure of the section 21, particularly the chain of custody, would be discussed in the manual. This covers who should handle the evidence and how; how takes custody of the suspects and how the operation will be documented; and other vital procedures that will ensure the pieces of evidence gathered will not be considered contaminated or be doubted.

"Most probably i-adopt ni siya (The idea of producing a manual will most likely be adopted)," Paguican said.

Meanwhile, PDEA-Davao Region acting director Emerson Rosales said he has no knowledge about the high rate of acquittal in drug cases.

"But Region 11 (Davao Region) has the highest conviction rate nationwide," he said in a text message. "As to the same (concern), we will study that acquittal percentage." (Arianne Caryl N. Casas)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 22, 2011.

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