President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. signed a bill into law that mandates stiffer measures in dealing with drug-related cases by imposing at least a $50,000 cash bail.

RPPL No. 10-40, which was signed by the president during the 26th Mechesil Belau Conference on September 18 at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center, amended some provisions of Chapter 6 of Title 18 of the Palau National Code (PNC).

The newly-signed law sets a presumptive bail of at least $50,000 for cases involving the distribution, trafficking, or possession of dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, morphine, lysergic acid diethylamide also known as LSD, schedule 1 opiates or ecstasy.

It also mandates that the court or other bail-fixing official shall submit an explanation letter in the advent that it imposes a bail pertaining to the drug-related cases that deviates from the set presumptive bail amount.

“The amount of bail shall be such as, in the judgment of the court or official fixing it, will ensure the presence of the accused in the future, prevent tampering with witnesses or evidence, and deter the possible continuation of criminal activity prior to disposition of case,” Section 604 of the newly-amended law read.

In his signing statement to the national congress, Remengesau said that the law will be a “meaningful step” in the country’s fight against illegal drugs.