Press Release
February 4, 2016


As drug syndicates become more scheming in evading the law, Congress has begun taking steps to allow law enforcers to conduct wiretaps that will make them more effective in going after criminals.

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs led by Sen. Grace Poe, sponsored on February 3 Senate Bill No. 2139 under Committee Report No. 463, which seeks to exempt law enforcement agencies who are conducting illegal drug operations from the restrictions of Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act.

"Drug syndicates have become more cunning and apparent in getting away with the law. We will continue to push for legislation that will help authorities prosecute illegal drug perpetrators," Poe said.

"Patuloy po nating bigyang halaga ang nasisirang buhay--at ang iba pang buhay na maaapektuhan--dahil sa iligal na droga. Layunin po natin bilang mga mambabatas ang bigyang proteksyon ang ating mga mamamayan at ang mga pamilya laban sa iligal na droga," she added.

This bill seeks to amend Section 3 of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, by exempting enforcement agencies who are conducting illegal drug operations from the realm of the law.

"This bill, once enacted into law, will be beneficial in providing assistance to our law enforcement agencies and strengthening the government's ability to prosecute drug cases," she said.

Illegal drugs persist as a problem in our country. According to the Dangerous Drugs Board, at least 1.7 million Filipinos are engaged in illicit drugs, which represents a 200,000 increase from the number of drug users two years ago.

In the United States, wiretapping has been used to solve major crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking.

According to Poe, wiretapping has helped establish the flow of drugs and the structure of syndicates and how they are managed from the source to the market.

Poe introduced an additional safety provision where she directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that in its formulation of rules and regulations, the agency must coordinate and consult with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, DOJ and the National Security Council. This is to prevent abuses and for safety of individuals, especially that the proposed law affects civil liberties and the right to privacy.

The heads of syndicate and financiers are not exposed during criminal activity. It is not easy to prove their participation in trade, but recorded conversations can establish their involvement, Poe added.

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