US donates evidence containers to Palawan council fighting environmental crime
THE UNITED States has donated evidence containers worth P1.6 million to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) in support of activities against wildlife trafficking and environmental crime in one of the most biodiverse provinces in the Philippines.
In a statement on Wednesday, the US Embassy said three evidence containers intended to properly retain confiscated contraband and evidence presented in the prosecution of perpetrators were handed over to the PCSD, an agency created in 1992 under Republic Act 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act.
“INL (Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) is strongly committed to doing everything it can to disrupt the criminal networks behind wildlife trafficking,” INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lisa Johnson said in the statement. “Building our partners’ capacity to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes is a priority for the US government.”
PCSD Executive Director Niño Rey C. Estoya said the containers would ensure that cases will not be dismissed for technical reasons, as the storage units will improve the agency’s adherence to chain of custody requirements.
INL has provided support for environmental justice in Palawan since 2019. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan