August 13, 2012
Senate body approves 2013 budget of 3
The Senate Finance Committee today approved without cut the proposed budgets of three agencies including the country's lead intelligence collection agency, but held in abeyance the budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) due to the apparent inaccurate data being presented by the agency.
"I am recommending for Senate floor deliberations the proposed budgets of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Security Council (NSC) and Philippine Dangerous Drug Board (PDDB)," said the committee's chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon.
"But I defer the approval of PDEA's budget for it appears to me that the PDEA is not on top of the situation. The matters we discussed in the budget hearing last year remain in the same situation as when we reviewed the budget one year afterward," said Drilon.
It can be recalled that during last year's budget hearing, Drilon expressed alarm over the apparent inaccurate data regarding seized illegal drugs and warned that these unaccounted illegal substances could lead to "recycling" and be readily available to the public.
During today's hearing, Drilon asked the PDEA Director General Jose Gutierrez, Jr. regarding the disposal of illegal substance being seized by the agency in accordance with the provision of Republic Act No. 9165, but received a vague answer from Gutierrez.
Thus, he said the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was not being fully implemented, as the PDEA is still holding on to a sizeable number of illegal drugs.
Section 21, paragraph 4 of the said act states that After the filing of the criminal case, the Court shall, within seventy-two (72) hours, conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals, including the instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, and through the PDEA shall within twenty-four (24) hours thereafter proceed with the destruction or burning of the same, in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the DOJ, civil society groups and any elected public official."
"The law says that a representative sample of seized illegal substance, will be secured, and the rest should be destroyed within 24 hours in the presence of the accused or counsel, the prosecutor, and the media," he added.
"I want explanation why nothing has been done since last year in order to destroy the almost 1,000 kilograms of illegal substance - as revealed during the hearing - which could find its way in the street again. I am totally disappointed," stressed Drilon.
PDEA is asking for P800.04 million budget for 2013, including automatic appropriation.
Meanwhile, NICA's approved budget for 2013 stood at P491.32 million, including automatic appropriation; whereas, NSC is proposed to receive P113.43 million, also including automatic appropriation.
Lastly, DDB will get P178.4 million, also gross of automatic appropriation.
Tuesday, June 18
Monday, June 17
Sunday, June 16
Friday, June 14