Police concern on minors used by drug groups-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
PALO, Leyte – The Police Regional Office (PRO)-Eastern Visayas expressed concern that more minors are becoming “user” or being utilized by drug groups as “pusher.”
“Minors should not be involved in the illegal drugs trade either as user or pusher. We must put a stop to this activity by intensifying our anti-illegal drugs drive targeting pushers and peddlers,” Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria said.
This developed as police arrested a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy (names withheld) in Naval, Biliran for carrying sachets of dried marijuana leaves last October 4.
The police suspected that the three sachets of dried marijuana leaves would either be consumed or sold by the minors.
The items were brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory in Eastern Visayas for examination while the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) Office of Naval took custody of the minor suspects.
Soria lamented that there were 972 minors arrested in the country since 2003 for violating Republic Act 9165 or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” wherein 34 percent of those arrested minors were utilized by drug syndicates as pushers.
Soria added the drug syndicates take advantage of the Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which exempts children 15 years old and below, from criminal liability and so, those arrested for involvement in illegal drug activities were eventually turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In the case of the arrested 17-year old boy, Soria said although he is a minor, he can be criminally liable under Republic Act 9344 if the court finds that he acted with discernment in violating the anti-drug law.
The police regional director added that while there are no reports reaching his office on the utilization of minors as drug carriers, he directed the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force of different police offices to validate said possibility. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)