MANILA –Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday issued the standard operating procedures (SOP) to be observed by PNP units in handling voluntary drug surrenderers and assistance for their rehabilitation.
Dela Rosa said this is consistent with the “declared policy of the State to provide mechanisms or measures to assist and re-integrate into society individuals who are victims of illegal drug abuse or drug dependence through sustainable programs of treatment and rehabilitation.”
The SOP prescribed guidelines to all PNP units in handling and processing drug surrenderers and to assist them in their rehabilitation.
In the PNP SOP No. 01-2016, the general guidelines to all duty officers in handling of drug personality surrenderers are as follows:
- Ensure that the person who surrendered is doing it voluntarily without duress;
- The process in handling should be recorded through video or captured through photo;
- Immediately conduct body search on the surrenderer to determine presence of any deadly weapon or dangerous drugs;
- Personal data should be recorded in the logbook of surrenderers;
- The surrenderer should be referred to the Investigation Section to take the voluntary confession to be signed by the surrenderer and their counsel or by any other counsel except the lawyer of the office where they surrendered to avoid perceived conflict of interest; and
- Turn over to the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) a minor surrenderer.
The WCPD should endorse the minor surrenderer to the local social welfare office in accordance with Republic Act No. 9344, or the “Justice Welfare Act of 2006”.
The duty officer must also subject the surrenderer for medical examination to be conducted in any government hospital and they should not be handcuffed.
“The voluntary surrender is not an assurance that they will not be subjected to drug law enforcement operation when they engage in the illegal drug activity after their voluntary surrender,” Dela Rosa said.
The assistance to drug personalities for rehabilitation include the referral of the drug surrenderer to the PCR section to coordinate with LGU/HOH/HADACs on the conduct of screening in order to determine if there’s a risk to other behavioral conditions and other morbidities.
A copy of the SOP No. 01-2016 has been filed before the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center to comply with the requirements of Executive Order No. 292, or the “Revised Administrative Code of 1987”, and will take effect 15 days after.