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    Posted March 20, 2014 by

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    Phl moves vs dismissal of drug cases

    THE Philippine House of Representatives on Thursday approved on 3rd reading a bill preventing the dismissal of drug cases due to the failure of law enforcers to follow its stringent requirements.
    Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said House Bill 2285 wants to provide clear procedures for the custody and disposition of dangerous drugs to preserve the evidentiary value of confiscated items.
    The bill seeks to amend Section 21 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002."
    "The reasons for acquittal and dismissal include the irregularity and illegality of arrest, search and seizure, reasonable doubt, insufficiency of evidence, inconsistencies in testimony, filing of wrong information, non–coordination with PDEA and failure to present vital witnesses," Belmonte said.
    Under the measure, the anti-drug campaign of the government shall be strengthened by amending the procedure for the custody and disposition of dangerous drugs and penalizing the possession of controlled precursors and essential chemicals, instruments or paraphernalia and laboratory equipment used in the manufacture of dangerous drugs.
    The measure mandates that the inventory of seized items shall be witnessed by an elected public official who has jurisdiction over the scene of the crime and with any representative from the media or the National Prosecution Service.
    The measure also mandates the conduct of the physical inventory of seized items be at the place where the search warrant is served or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable.
    "Amending RA 9165 will enable the government to pursue an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances," Belmonte added.
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