PDEA destroys chemicals, equipment for drug production

By Chito Chavez

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) destroyed controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) and laboratory equipment used for the production of shabu worth P10.671,263 at a treatment plant in Valenzuela City Thursday.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said that 228 liters of liquid chemicals composed of xylene chemicals, hydrochloric acid, chloroform, pytridine, benzaldehyde and ethanol worth P204,082.25 and 3,814,070.79 grams of solid chemicals composed of caustic soda/sodium hydroxide, palladium, iodine, calcium chloride, red phosphorous, sodium acetate, barium sulfate, sodium sulfate, copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate and caffeine worth P9,446,436.75, were destroyed through chemical treatment.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino leads the destruction of lab equipment used in making methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, during the destruction of chemicals and lab equipment in manufacturing the illegal drug at a treatment facility in Valenzuela City, October 12 ,2017.

(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

The activity was done after President Duterte on Wednesday ordered that PDEA to be the sole agency that would conduct all illegal drug operations in the country.

Assorted laboratory equipment with an estimated value of P1,020,744.00 seized during anti-drug operations was smashed to prevent them from being used again.

The destruction activity was held at the Green Planet Management, Incorporated (GPMI) in Barangay Punturin, Valenzuela City, which is a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) accredited treatment facility.

Rep. Robert Ace S. Barbers of the 2nd District of Surigao del Norte who was the guest of honor was represented by Atty. Nilo Geonzon at the destruction of the chemicals and non-drug evidence.

“PDEA continues to regularly destroy illegal drugs, CPECs and laboratory equipment right before the public, thus allaying any misconception that these pieces of drug and non-drug evidence are being recycled or peddled back in the streets”, Aquino said.

Representatives of the PDEA, Department of Justice (DOJ), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), barangays and the media witnessed the destruction.

Aquino vowed that PDEA will only conduct legitimate anti-illegal drug operations to dispel public suspicions that law enforcement authorities commit extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the course of the performance of their duties.

With only 1,100 PDEA agents, Aquino said that the agency is hard-pressed to seek assistance from the 190,000 strong members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as embedded in Republic Act 9165 if the need arises.

The PDEA chief said that the agency’s anti-illegal drug operation will reach down to the street level with his men equipped with body cameras to ensure that the activity is lawful.

He invited the media to join the PDEA agents in its anti-illegal drug activity as living witnesses that the agency only conducts legal operations as ordered by President Duterte.