The National Prosecution Services (NPS) recorded a total of 152,741 drug cases filed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
However, a majority of those cases were often dismissed by the courts. If not, the accused commonly gets acquitted.
In a report from Rappler, NPS released their records showing the total number of filed cases while classifying whether they were resolved or dismissed. It identified the number of cases where the accused was prosecuted or acquitted. It also included the number of cases involving minors.
Cases in year 1
In 2016, Duterte’s first year in office, drug cases went up to 68,579. Almost two percent of the total numbers involved minors with 1,132 complaints.
The courts solved 8,051 of those drug-related complaints making up to 12 percent of 2016’s total. Roughly 28 percent of the solved cases resulted into prosecution as 2,241 led to the conviction of the accused.
A total of 2,617 cases were dismissed which constitutes 33 percent of the settled complaints while 27 percent of those or a total of 2,186 cases absolved the accused.
The remaining 12 percent with 1,007 cases were either suspended due to prejudicial questioning or transferred to other related agencies.
Numbers in 2017 and currently, 2018
After a year, drug cases filed increased by three percent. In 2017, the NPS filed 70,706 drug cases in courts with 1,645 cases involving minors.
The court resolved 21,383 of those cases, with 7,011 resulting in convictions, 5,270 cases leading to dismissals, and 6,353 acquittals.
Proceedings for 2,749 drug cases, which constitutes 13 percent of the resolved cases were either suspended due to prejudicial questioning or referred to other agencies.
The first quarter of 2018 had a total of 13,176 drug cases. Almost 68 percent were resolved by the courts with 9,030 cases. Among those resolved were 5,693 convictions, 1,060 dismissals, and 1,713 acquittals.
Technicality conflicts result in the dismissal of cases
Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was concerned about the high rate of dismissals of court cases.
“Often the main reason for dismissal is technical — that is, failure to observe procedural requirements, particularly on the chain of custody of the drugs seized,” Guevarra said.
Guevarra also urged law enforcers to collaborate with the justice department in order to lessen the number of dismissed cases due to technicalities.