Rep. Barbers: 30% to 70% of seized drugs given as ‘reward’ to tipsters


The chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs on Tuesday said illegal drugs were given to informants as “reward” after their successful drug seizures for the past 20 years.

Committee on dangerous drugs chairman Rep. Ace Barbers, in a statement following his committee hearing, said a substantial amount of illegal drugs hauled, seized and confiscated by the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency are being recycled for the past 20 years.

This fact, Barbers said, was revealed by an asset/informant of the two agencies who admitted being given “basura,” street lingo for shabu, by anti-illegal drug operatives of the two agencies every time they complete a bust based on tips relayed to law enforcers.

The amount varies from 30 percent of the haul up to us much as 70 percent, the lawmaker said.

Barbers condemned the illegal practice and promised to unearth more evidence and name names in succeeding hearings.

“The testimony of the asset confirmed what we have heard all this time. The illegal practice of giving substantial portions of the drugs seized now has a face. In due time, if evidence warrants, criminal charges will be filed,” Barbers said.

“We will not stop until we have unmasked all these crooks in uniform who have doomed so many lives to live in luxury,” he added.

Earlier, Barbers asked all anti-drug law enforcement agencies to account and submit to the lower chamber the complete inventory list of all seized illegal drugs that remain under their custody pending court resolution of their cases.

“As of now, we have no clear knowledge or understanding on the disposition of previously seized drugs that are still under the custody of law enforcement agencies such as the PDEA, the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation,” Barbers said.

Barbers said he and his colleagues would want to know the whereabouts, the disposition and case status of the 990 kilos worth P6.7 billion of shabu seized by PNP anti-drug agents in Manila in October last year; the 1,855 kilos of shabu worth P11 billion seized on March 15, 2022 in Infanta, Quezon; the P11.953 billion worth of illegal drugs reportedly seized by the Bureau of Customs in various drug bust operations in 2022 and turned over to the PDEA; the 365 kilos of shabu worth P730 million seized in August 2000 from six Chinese nationals in Sariaya off Tayabas Bay in Quezon, among others.

“Under the RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the law has a specific period that within only 24 or 36 hours, the seized drugs must be destroyed. But this does not happen and the anti-drug agents have many reasons to keep them under their custody. And if they have them in custody, there is a great tendency for these drugs to be pilfered, lost and recycled,” he said.