A legislator on Sunday sought the creation of special courts that would hear all drug-related cases. Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chair of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said trial court congestion could be addressed through the creation of Dangerous Drugs Court in all cities and provinces across the nation. House Bill (HB) No. 9446 or An Act Promoting the Speedy Disposition of Drug Cases by Creating a Special Court to be Known as Dangerous Drugs Court in Every City and Province Nationwide, would help speed up the disposition of drug cases pending resolution in various courts nationwide, Barbers said in a news release. Over 405,062 drug cases were filed in courts between 2000 and 2022, according to data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). 'Out of this figure, only 28 percent or 114,610 cases have been resolved or have been given a decision by the judiciary. This means approximately 72 percent of the said drug cases have remained pending in courts as we speak,' he said. The delay in the resolution of drug cases may worsen if not properly addressed as this may lead to more clogging of court dockets. The absence of drug courts also causes delays in the issuance of court orders and other processes in connection with the destruction of seized or confiscated drugs. At a Dangerous Drugs panel hearing last March, it was revealed that the PDEA and the police still have in their respective custody a total of 8,662 kilograms of 'undestructed' shabu and 4,233 kilograms of marijuana. The PDEA and PNP said the immediate destruction of such could not be done citing 'difficulty in obtaining court orders to carry it out.' 'This has opened windows of opportunity for rogues in uniform, popularly known as ninja cops, to recycle illegal drugs for the purpose of planting evidence, or worse, selling it back on the streets,' Barbers said.
Source: Philippines News Agency