The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered a review of all drug-related cases the police have filed in court in a bid to increase their conviction rate.
DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. issued the directive as he expressed his concern about the subpar conviction rate for the drug cases, especially against suspected traffickers of shabu and other prohibited substances.
“Police investigation serves as a critical component in law enforcement because this single act will determine whether the case would be dismissed or not. It is important that our police investigators are well-versed in criminal law and procedures so they could conduct an effective and efficient investigation,” Abalos said.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in particular had initiated a total of 6,378 drug-related complaints from January 1, 2022 to July 22, 2022.
Of this number, 5,183 cases were filed in court; 916 others were still under preliminary investigation; 277 due for updating, and the remaining cases were for further investigation.
Among the five police command districts in Metro Manila, the Southern Police District got the highest number of cases filed in court at a total of 2,226.
NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad tapped all concerned police units in the drug operations within the metropolis to be serious about the drug cases they were handling.
“The review will continuously be carried out and more in-depth scrutiny on the operation flaws must be done to determine areas of improvement,” Natividad said.
“Concerned regional staff offices were already told to take steps to enhance and hone skills, knowledge and correct perception of drug operatives and apprehending police officers and investigators to ensure conviction of every drug complaint filed before the authorities,” he added.
The NCRPO was also studying current legal trends in drug cases by constant consultations, dialogues, and conduct of lectures and seminars by state prosecutors and judges handling cases to correct previous malpractices in drug operations and handling pieces of evidence which were the usual cause of case dismissals.
“Our anti-illegal drug campaign is one of our primordial concerns here in Metro Manila. Apart from the filing of complaints, we also make sure that we continue to monitor the cases filed against arrested suspects, and we ensure that we are able to provide necessary support and assistance to the prosecution for the effective and efficient resolution of cases,” Natividad said.
He said the NCRPO continues to be the show window of the Philippine National Police in the country in terms of anti-illegal drug strategy implementation.