AROUND P47 billion worth of dangerous drugs including shabu, ecstasy and marijuana confiscated by authorities since 2008 have been destroyed through thermal decomposition to avert suspicion they may be recycled and resold on the streets, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino reported yesterday.
The official said that destroyed through thermal decomposition from 2008 to 2018 were 19,622 kilograms or 18.29 tons of solid illegal drugs, and 6,020.32 liters of illegal drugs.
“These are part of the dangerous drugs that were seized during high-impact anti-drug operations conducted by PDEA combined with those turned over and endorsed with corresponding documentation to PDEA by other partner drug law enforcement agencies and Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) in nearby cities and provinces for destruction,” Aquino said.
Among the destroyed seized pieces of drug evidence no longer needed as evidence in court are methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, liquid shabu, marijuana, ephedrine, cocaine, liquid cocaine, diazepam, and ecstasy, he said.
During the 10-year period, PDEA presided over 25 destruction activities regularly done by third parties with chemical treatment facilities duly accredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources such as Integrated Waste Management Inc. (IWMI) in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martirez City, Cavite, and Clean Leaf International Corporation in Bgy. Maysilo, Malabon, the PDEA chief explained.
In July 2011, Holcim Philippines, Incorporated, a registered treatment, storage and disposal facility for hazardous waste in Barrio Matictic, Norzagaray, Bulacan, allowed PDEA to use the company’s facility in destroying seized dangerous drugs, free of charge, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Aquino added.
Thermal decomposition, or thermolysis, is the method of decomposition or breaking down of chemical 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.
Key officials of PDEA and other law enforcement agencies, representatives from the Department of Justice, the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Public Attorney’s Office, Non-Government Organizations, local barangay officials, and the media witnessed the destruction ceremonies.
Five out of the 25 destruction activities took place during the time of Aquino, a retired police general. With only 18 months in incumbency, the PDEA chief had already spearheaded the destruction of seized drug evidence worth P19.63 billion -- the most in the Agency’s history in terms of monetary value and frequency.
This is 42 percent of the P46.69 billion worth of dangerous drugs destroyed in the last decade, said PDEA spokesman Director Derrick Arnold C. Carreon.
From July 1, 2016 to present, the PDEA under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte destroyed a total of P21,995,510,000 worth of dangerous drugs.