P8.8-M worth of dangerous drugs seized in WV destroyed

Members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA-6) conduct an inventory of illegal and regulated drugs that were destroyed on Dec. 12, 2019. Ranking officers from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), the judiciary, and journalists witnessed the ceremony. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 6 (PDEA6) on Thursday destroyed P8,849,942.21 worth of dangerous drugs at the Gegato Abecia Crematory Inc. on Monfort Highway in Brgy. Balabago, Jaro, Iloilo City.

Alex Tablate, PDEA-6 regional director, led the destruction ceremony of dangerous drugs used as evidence in court trials and expired medicines.

Ranking officers of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6, the judiciary, and journalists witnessed the ceremony.

Tablate said majority of the destroyed substances were surrendered by the court or seized during anti-narcotics operations while others were surrendered by pharmaceutical/hospitals.

Exterminated through thermal destruction were a total of 1,055.96 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with an estimated value of P7,180,227.80

Thermal destruction, or thermal decomposition or thermolysis, is the method of decomposition or breaking down of chemicals by heat.  The decomposition temperature of a substance is the temperature at which the substance chemically decomposes. At 1,000 degrees centigrade, all dangerous drugs are totally decomposed or broken down.

The second burning would be at 1,500 degrees.

Also destroyed were 659.4489 grams of dried marijuana leaves and seeds worth P65,994.89 and fully-grown marijuana plants valued at P1,320.

Meanwhile, Tablate said regulated drugs surrendered by pharmaceutical/hospitals were valued at P1,590,568.52.

The regulated drugs include oxycodone, Phetidine, Phentermine, Phenobarbital, zolpidem, clonazepam, diazepam, ephedrine, ketamine, lorazepam, meperidine, morphine, Midazolam, nalbuphine, alprazolam, estazolam, phendimetrazine, fentanyl citrate, and bromazepam.

Most of these drugs are opioid medication used for treatment of moderate to severe pain. But some of these substances could be abused as a recreational drug.

These drugs were physically destroyed and turned over to another body for proper disposal.


Meanwhile, Tablate said the destruction of illegal drugs is in keeping with the provisions of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Board Regulation No. 1.

Section 21 of RA 9165 refers to the 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.

Tablate said “the PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner…”

Meanwhile, DDB Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002 also sets the guidelines on the custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and laboratory equipment.

“The cases involving drugs seized during operations have been resolved by the court. May finality na ang kaso and it has a corresponding court order. That’s why, they need to be destroyed,” Tablate said.

The oldest case was way back 2002 and was handled by a court in Aklan province.

Tablate said destruction also aims to clear doubts of recycling of drug evidence.

The last destruction of illegal drugs in the region was in June 2016.