Rep. Garcia’s anti-narcotics cases bill to be merged with 3 other proposals
Bataan 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III’s authored bill, seeking to expedite the disposition of judicial cases involving illegal drugs, will be consolidated with the other three related bills, the House of Representatives said Thursday.
A technical working group will be created to consolidate Garcia’s House Bill (HB) No. 4671, Buhay party-list Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr.’s HB 4659, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe’s HB 4728, and Abra Rep. Joseph Berno’s HB 6984.
Garcia’s bill calls for the designation of special courts in each judicial region, particularly in provinces and cities where drug cases comprise at least 60 percent of the total number of cases pending in the courts.
While the law requires that trial of drug-related cases must be wrapped up in 60 days from the date of information filing and the court decision rendered 15 days from the date of submission of the case for resolution, Garcia lamented that it typically takes the courts three years to decide such cases.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) all expressed support for HB 4671.
Meanwhile, HB 6984 seeks to require the “automatic” treatment and rehabilitation of arrested or individuals who confess to illegal use of drugs immediately after arrest.
HB 4659 wants to expand coverage of authorized drug testing to include the use of other dangerous drugs such as “party drugs” that present tests cannot detect, while HB 4728 provides for speedy destruction of confiscated dangerous drugs as well as instruments and paraphernalia. #
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