By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK
IN A bid to further its capability in relation to its mandate to suppress the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has inaugurated Friday its new Laboratory Service building at its national headquarters in Quezon City.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the three-storey building features upgraded security system in its evidence room, which includes high definition closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and fire suppressing equipment to prevent damage to evidence in case of fire.
“This is part of our continuing capability enhancement program for safekeeping of drug evidence. As the lead agency in the country’s anti-drug campaign, the integrity of PDEA in safekeeping of all pieces of drug evidence is of paramount importance,” Aquino said, adding that air conditioning units, exhaust fans and dehumidifier were also installed for the physical preservation of evidence.
The construction of the new building was made possible through the financial assistance of Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Congressman Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Representative, 4th District, Quezon City who was the guest of honor and speaker during the inauguration.
Aquino said that to further improve the Laboratory Service’s profiling capabilities, the Agency will soon acquire a multi-million analytical equipment of forensic laboratories and additional analytical instruments.
Also in the pipeline is the development of an online drug inventory system to all PDEA national and regional offices nationwide as part of the automation of the inventory system of evidence through tagging and bar coding that will help facilitate accurate documentation and accounting of evidence,” Aquino said.
PDEA Laboratory Service prides itself as “The Premier Drug Forensic Center” because it is the only forensic laboratory in the country that conducts impurity profiling of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as shabu which has the capability of determining the linkage that exists between drug samples,” the PDEA chief proudly said.