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Eleazar orders review of junked drug cases

The country’s top cop ordered yesterday an accounting of all dismissed drug cases since 2016 as part of the “intensified cleanliness policy”.

“Having data and information on these dismissed drug cases since the war on drugs started in 2016 would truly help the PNP leadership determine the interventions needed so that the junking by the courts of drug cases filed by the police would be avoided in the future,” Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said in a press conference in Camp Crame.

He added that the PNP is aiming to improve the conviction rate, particularly in drug-related cases, noting that a higher conviction rate would reflect the success of the campaign against illegal drugs.

“We need to make sure that the cases we file against those involved in illegal drugs are strong so we need to identify the reason why some of these cases were dismissed by the court,” he said.

He added that they are also looking into the alleged negligence of police officers as well as those who are in cahoots with drug suspects as among the factors contributing to the dismissal of drug cases.

“If we have good accounting of dismissed cases, we can trace who among our personnel is involved in corruption,” he said.

Eleazar said that after a review of these dismissed cases, necessary adjustments and improvements would be made on the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.

Since the start of the government’s relentless campaign against illegal drugs in July 2016, a total of 289,622 suspects were arrested in 200,632 operations.

Last week, a Makati court dismissed drug charges against local rapper Marlon Peroramas, known as Looney, his sister, and three other people, and cited the failure of police personnel to follow the chain of custody rule.

The rapper earlier asked Eleazar for an investigation on the operation against him, citing that he was a victim of evidence planting.

Eleazar explained that it is the Committee on Dismissed Drug Cases that evaluates dismissed cases that include misconduct or irregularities that could have been committed by police officers.

Once the committee finds any irregularity on the part of police officers, Eleazar said it will refer the case folder to the appropriate units concerned for the conduct of a pre-charge investigation.*PNA

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