The DILG-ARMM conducted the one-day activity on Strengthening Legal Capacity of Persons and Agents in Authority on Filing Drug Cases on 7 February 2017, held at Em Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City.

The objectives of the activity were to identify common procedural problems in filing cases on illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms and to provide knowledge on Rules of Procedure, specifically on the chain of custody.

In attendance during the activity were the DILG-ARMM Regional Secretary, Atty. Noor Hafizullah “Kirby” M. Abdullah, Director II of the Technical Services, Lininding M. Lao, LGOO VI and OIC of LGOD, Fausiah R. Abdula, the Technical Officers and Staff of the LGOD, ORG-ARMM Executive Secretary, Atty. Laisa M. Alamia, Regional Director of PRO-ARMM, Director of PDEA-ARMM, the Regional, Provincial and City Prosecutors from ARMM, Maguindanao, Marawi City and Lanao del Sur, and the distinguished participants from PNP, CIDG, NBI, PDEA, and DOJ.

Atty. Noor Hafizullah “Kirby” M. Abdullah said that they were there to know the legal procedures and the vital role of the participants during trial of the case in court, including empowering them in making judicial affidavit.

According to the Resource Speaker of PRO-ARMM, the proliferation was attributed to the presence of the following factors, to wit, threat groups, group of special concerns, private armed groups, criminal gangs, wanted persons, and RIDO.

The PDEA-ARMM assessment on proliferation of illegal drugs in ARMM was it remained in volatile condition considering the massive firepower still in the hands of several armed groups, some of which were under the control of drug syndicated and narco-politicians. Further, the usual reasons of dismissed cases were the alleged lack of probable cause, based on alleged illegal search, arrest, and personal knowledge, and quashed search warrant.

“As a witness, you can give evidence of what you saw, did or heard first hand in court. Information you received from other people, such as something you were told about but did not see yourself, generally cannot be used in court. This is called hearsay,” Atty. Laisa M. Alamia said during her presentation on the Role of Enforcers during Trial Stage.

“Among the common procedural and substantive problems in filing of drug cases were: (1) unsigned relevant documents such as complaint-affidavit, affidavit of arrest and affidavit of witness/es; (2) non-appearance of the complainant and/or arresting officer/s and their witness/es before the prosecutor during the filing of the case; (3) no return of subpoenas from the concerned Municipal Police Stations,” presented Atty. Rohairah A. Lao, the Provincial Prosecutor of Maguindanao.