PDEA: 10 regional forensic laboratories now operational

November 29, 2013 12:17 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 29 — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., announced on Friday that the agency has inaugurated 10 forensic laboratories in different regional offices from February to November 2013 and is planning to open two more before the year ends.

In a statement, Cacdac said that the PDEA forensic laboratories can now independently conduct analysis on seized dangerous drugs and administer drug tests on arrested suspects.

He said the PDEA has highly trained chemists who conduct qualitative examination of illegal drugs that would be used as evidence in court.

PDEA regional forensic laboratories are now operational in the following Regional Offices: PDEA RO1 in La Union, PDEA RO7 in Cebu City, PDEA RO6 in Iloilo City, and PDEA RO11 in Davao City.

He said this laboratories are capable of conducting qualitative and quantitative examination using Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry (GCMS).

GCMS is also crucial in the conduct of confirmatory drug test to those who are tested positive in screening tests.

He added that other PDEA Regional offices like PDEA RO4B (Mimaropa) and PDEA RO8 laboratories are capable of conducting drug test using the Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector (GCFID), an instrument that measures the concentration and purity of confiscated dangerous drugs from arrested suspects.

Also, PDEA Regional Offices in General Santos City, Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro City and Legazpi City conduct forensic examinations using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC). TLC is a chromatographic technique that is useful in separating organic compounds. Because of the simplicity and rapidity of TLC, it is often used to detect, identify and analyze various illegal substances and monitor the progress of organic reactions and to check the purity of dangerous drugs.

Cacdac said the newly established laboratories are vital in drug investigations and will help drug law enforcement officers to become more effective in pursuing the agency’s mandate and this hastens the process of filing drug cases in courts as suspected illegal drugs can be quickly examined anytime after anti-drug operations.

“In the last 10 years, PDEA had only one forensic laboratory and it is located at the national headquarters. We still need six more laboratories to complete the targeted establishment of forensic laboratories in all 17 regions. Hopefully we can do this in the first quarter of 2014,” Cacdac said. (PNA)

JBP/CLTC

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