Some eighty-nine (89) participants from the Criminal Justice Agencies of Region III attended the Seminar Workshop on the Dangerous Drugs Law for Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcers held last May 6-8, 2013 at Clarkfied, Angeles City, Pampanga. This seminar is the joint effort of the country’s leading agency on drug abuse prevention and control, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), together with the Philippine Judicial Academy.

Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia, DDB Vice Chairman, represented Chairman Sec. Antonio A. Villar Jr. and welcomed the participants, officials, and guests to the event. The chairman’s message focused on the commitment to the anti-drug advocacy. “I have faith in the capacities of the members of the criminal justice system to achieve the ideal rate of resolving drug cases. I hope that this seminar, aside from enhancing your knowledge, would inspire you also to contribute to national anti-drug abuse advocacy,” Usec. Garcia stated reading the message of the Chairman.

Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac, Jr., Director General of the PDEA, oriented the participants on the national drug abuse situationer, including the status of drug cases filed and Undersecretary Jose Marlowe S. Pedregosa, DDB Executive Director updated the participants on the magnitude of the drug problem, noted trends and patterns and the government’s responses to the problem.

Participants were given vital information on various dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals under UN conventions and street names of commonly abused drugs and their pharmacological effects that will aid them in the effective prosecution of drug cases by Dr. Idabel Pagulayan, Retired Executive Officer, Office of the Deputy Technical Services, National Bureau of Investigation.

Justice Mario V. Lopez of the Court of Appeals discussed the Legal Issues on Controlled Delivery and Buy-bust Operations, An Overview of RA 9165- Supreme Court Decisions on Drugs Cases and Guidelines on RA 9165 and Section 21 of RA 9165. He explained the legal procedures in the collection, handling and preservation of evidence; its admissibility in court, and the proper establishment of a direct chain of custody.

Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Oscar C. Herrera, Jr. concluded the seminar workshop with a remark, encouraging the participants, as agents of the country’s criminal justice system to uphold the ideals of prudence and honor. “The ethics in one’s practice is very important, because it dictates the ultimate judgment and consideration in taking action for cases,” Justice Herrera said.