Bato wants drug rehab sans court order

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 12 2019 01:05 PM | Updated as of Nov 12 2019 01:24 PM

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MANILA - Senator Ronald Dela Rosa on Tuesday said he filed a bill that would no longer require a court order before a drug addict could go to a rehabilitation center.

"D'yan ang problema sa court order na 'yan, d'yan ang stumbling block kaya we try to address that by amending the law 'yung drug law natin na dapat mawala na 'yung court order to undergo drug rehabilitation," he said.

"Ang laki ng facility natin sa Nueva Ecija bakit konti lang nagpapa-rehab? Because wala tayong batas na nag-require sa lahat ng mga drug addict na magpapa-rehab," he added. 

Dela Rosa said a drug surrenderer who wants to undergo rehabilitation must secure a court order. Without it, the drug rehabilitation center could be liable for arbitrary detention.

Under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, a person found to be positive for use of any illegal drug should undergo a minimum of 6 months of rehabilitation in a treatment center. 

According to the Dangerous Drugs Board, a drug dependent or his/her parent, spouse, guardian or relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity "may file a verified application to the Board for voluntary confinement for treatment and rehabilitation."

The person must be examined by a Department of Health-accredited physician who will recommend if the drug dependent needs confinement. The Board can order the temporary confinement of a drug dependent for a maximum of 15 days pending the issuance of a court order from a local court. 

"Confinement in a Center for treatment and rehabilitation shall not exceed one (1) year, after which time the Court, as well as the Board, shall be apprised by the head of the Center of the status of said drug dependent and determine whether further confinement will be for the welfare of the drug dependent and his/her family or the community." 

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa, the former head of the government's campaign against illegal drugs, admitted that the government was not able to meet the target of 1 rehabilitation center per province.

"Totoo 'yan, initially, but as time went on nag-aadjust 'yung LGUs gumagawa na sila ng sariling community-based drug rehabilitation program kaya naaddress 'yung problema na 'yan," he said.

Newly named drug czar, Vice President Leni Robredo, has said she would focus on preventing unnecessary killings while treating drug use as a public health issue and not just a law enforcement problem.

The senator who once headed the controversial "Oplan Tokhang", a project under the Duterte administration's war on drugs campaign,