DANGEROUS Drugs Board (DDB) vice chair undersecretary Paul Oaminal commended the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its internal cleansing and enforcement of the provisions of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

In its Operational Accomplishment Report prepared by the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force for the period of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, Oaminal said 131 PNP personnel have been dismissed from police service.

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead agency forwarded to the PNP, 519 illegal drug cases, involving 875 personnel as witnesses.

These are drug cases that were dismissed due to the failure of the police-witness to attend, said Oaminal, adding that after validation of the cases forwarded, it was reconciled to be accounted to 637 drug cases with 813 police witnesses.

The PNP in resolving the cases, Oaminal said resulted to the dismissal of 131 in police service, while 125 personnel were meted penalties such as demotion, suspension, forfeiture of salary and reprimand.

Further, Oaminal said he was elated by the report that 151 PNP personnel were criminally charged in court for failure to attend court proceedings of illegal drug cases pursuant to Section 91 of Republic Act 9165.

Section 91 Responsibility and Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies and other Government Officials and Employees in Testifying as Prosecution Witnesses in Dangerous Drugs Cases cited that any member of law enforcement agencies or any other government official and employee who, after due notice, fails or refuses intentionally or negligently, to appear as a witness for the prosecution in any proceedings, involving violations of the Act, without any valid reason, shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00), in addition to the administrative liability he/she may be meted out by his/her superior and/or appropriate body.

The filing of cases against these police officers would serve as a warning to police witnesses to be diligent and committed in handling their drug cases, said Oaminal.

The data, dismissal of service and filing of cases against these police officers is proof that the government is serious in its anti drug campaign, Oaminal said.

He hoped that the Filipino Citizenry would be convinced that our law enforcers are sincere in its effort and hereby enjoined to support the government’s vision of a Drug Free Philippines.