Manila, Philippines – Mindanao lawmakers have sought the imposition of stiff penalties against lessors of houses and warehouses used as clandestine drugs laboratories.
House Bill (HB) No. 6206 – “An Act Penalizing Negligent Lessors of Properties Used as Clandestine Laboratories and Drug Warehouses, Amending for the Purpose Section 8 of Republic Act (RA) 9165, Otherwise Known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” – will plug loopholes in RA 9165, said authors of the measure led by Rep. Vicente Belmonte (LP, Lanao del Norte).
Belmonte, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, explained that despite the strict implementation of the anti-drugs law, many drug cases were dismissed by the courts due to the loopholes.
According to Belmonte, most of the cases dismissed involved lessors of warehouses and residential units used as clandestine drug laboratories.
“At the alarming rate of discovery of such clandestine laboratories in exclusive villages and high-end condominium units in Metro Manila, there is no denying that the drug traffickers are determined to continue the nevarious trade at any cost,” he said.
HB 6206 proposes stiff penalties for negligent lessors who allow their houses, warehouses, or apartments to be rented to drug manufacturers as laboratories.
Those found guilty of violating the provisions of the proposed measure will be imprisoned for 12 to 20 years and fined P100,000 to P500,000. (Ben R. Rosario)