With the aim of coordinating and integrating the overall efforts of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) especially in the field of prosecution and criminal investigation, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Supreme Court of the Philippines (SC) and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) conducted a seminar-workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law in the Bicol Region.
Ninety-four (94) participants from different areas of Region V were gathered to identify problems encountered in prosecuting drug related cases and proposing solutions to the problems.
Undersecretary Jose Marlowe S. Pedregosa, Executive Director, representing Secretary Antonio A. Villar, Jr., Chairman, DDB, gave the welcome message. He thanked the participants for coming over and assured them that their attendance would help them enhance and refresh their knowledge about dangerous drugs law. “I urge all of you to continue fighting the war against drug abuse,” he said. Usec. Pedregosa discussed the government response to the problem of drugs and explained all the programs of DDB towards attaining a drug-resistant and eventually a drug-free Philippines.
Mr. Bryan B. Babang, Director, PDEA Region V, talked about the current national and regional drug situation in the country. He gave updates to the participants on the magnitude of the dangerous drug problem of the country and in Region V.
The topic on Identifying and Assisting Drug Dependents was discussed by Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia, Permanent Member, DDB. In his lecture, he emphasized on the different treatment modalities and rehabilitation procedures as provided under Section 54 and 61 or RA 9165, after care and follow-up programs for drug dependents, and clarifying issues on voluntary and compulsory confinement for treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents.
Hon. Elisa R. Sarmiento-Flores, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court Br. 71, Pasig City, explained the inquest and preliminary investigation procedures to determine probable cause in drug cases.
To help enlighten the participants on RA 9344 (First Time Minor Offender/Suspension of Sentence) in relation to Section 66 of RA 9165 and Salient Features of the Rule on Children, Hon. Philip A. Aguinaldo, Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Br. 207, Muntinlupa City was tasked to explain the topic thoroughly.
Hon. Oscar C. Herrera, Jr., Associate Justice of Sandiganbayan, tackled the Rules on Warrant of Arrest, Search and Seizure. He even added in his discussion the various issues on the legalities and requisites of a valid warrant of arrest, search and seizure, applicability of various doctrines, and present jurisprudence.
Hon. Mario V. Lopez, Associate Justice, Court of Appeals, gave a lecture on the legal issues on controlled delivery and buy-bust operations. He also presented an overview and updates on the law emphasizing on Sections 5, 11 and 26 including Supreme Court guidelines of RA 9165 and jurisprudence on drug-related cases.
Justice Lopez ends the program by giving his message. “I personally thank all of you for your participation on this seminar-workshop and I hope that you gain more knowledge and understanding about dangerous drugs law as it relates to your profession,” he stated.
The Seminar-Workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers of the Fifth Judicial Region was held at the Avenue Plaza, Hotel, Naga City from June 30 to July 2, 2015.