PDEA lauds SC for additional 240 RTCs to handle drug cases nationwide

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) commended the Supreme Court (SC) for the designation of an additional 240 Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) to hear, try and decide cases filed under Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

"The 240 RTCs will be mobilized and directed to handle drug cases, especially newly filed ones, to help decongest the dockets of specially-designated drug courts and expedite the resolution of these cases," said PDEA Director General Isidro S. LapeAa.

The SC order, which took effect on July 19, 2016, is in compliance with Section 90, Article 11 of RA 9165, as amended.

Prior to the order, there were 715 RTCs authorized to hear and decide drug-related cases in the country. 529 of these hear and decide cases in single and multiple-sala stations, 65 were designated as special courts, while 121 are specially-designated as Family Courts having exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide drug cases against minors pursuant to Republic Act No. 8369, or the "Family Courts Act of 1997".

"The additional 240 drug courts bring to 955 the number of RTCs handling drug-related cases across the country. More drug courts means more drug cases will be heard, tried and decided conclusively. This will also address the increase in the number of new drug cases because of the revitalized national anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte," Lapena said.

Source: Philippine Information Agency