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21, 2013

NR # 3022B

Creation of a special prosecutors office for speedy resolution of drug-related cases sought
A lawmaker is proposing the creation of a special prosecutors office under the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the speedy resolution of drug-related offenses in the country. Rep. Ma. Theresa B. Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila) authored House Bill 6839, which seeks to expand the jurisdiction of PDEA by defining its prosecutorial powers, amending for the purpose Republic Act (RA) 9165. The lady solon said providing a machinery to quickly dispose of cases involving violations of RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will result in the immediate prosecution of the offenses and the unclogging of court docket. It will also redound to the benefit of the general welfare of the people and will restore the publics trust and confidence in our justice system as well, Bonoan-David said. Under the bill, the special prosecutors office shall be under the control and supervision of the PDEA and it shall have the exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving drug-related offenses that are non-bailable. For this purpose, special prosecutors shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the board. The special prosecutors must be a member of the Philippine Bar and must have engaged in the practice of law for at least five years as provided in the bill, BonoanDavid explained. Amendment to Section 84 (h) of RA 9165 under the bill provides the PDEA special prosecutors office exclusive jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute violations of this Act in cases involving offenses that are not bailable. The measure amends Section 90 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which reads that In cases falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the PDEA special prosecutors, it shall exercise the same powers and functions as those or as may hereinafter be provided by law, rules and regulations to public prosecutors in the conduct of investigations and prosecution of offenses which are nonbailable. The bill states that motions for reconsideration of resolutions by the PDEA special prosecutor shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the director general of the PDEA, which will be filed within a non-extendible period of 15 days from the receipt of such resolution. Grounds for such motion for reconsideration that may be entertained include cases such as if there is prima facie evidence of abuse of discretion on the part of the special prosecutor; if the resolution was rendered through fraud or coercion, including graft and corruption; and if made purely on questions of law, among others. (30) mvip