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Duterte's drug war a failure, only 1% of drug supply, money seized —Robredo


The Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs is a failure, with shabu supply and drug money reduced by only 1% in the last three years, Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday.

These data were based on the records by the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, among others, as cited by Robredo in her 40-page report on her 19-day stint  as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Robredo said that while the PNP estimates that 3,000 kilograms of shabu worth P25 billion are consumed per week, the PDEA was only able to seize 1,344.87 kilograms in 2019 alone — a paltry figure even if it was an improvement from 2017 and 2018 seizures, which reached 1,053.91 kilograms and 785.31 kilograms, respectively.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council, on the other hand, reported P1.4 billion worth of frozen assets which are related to the illegal drug trade as of February 2019, the latest available government data.

“Kumbaga sa exam, one out of 100 ang score ng gobyerno. Malinaw na malinaw, sa kabila ng dami ng Pilipinong pinatay, isang porsyento lang ang naipit na suplay ng shabu at pera na may kinalaman sa droga,” Robredo said.

“Failure talaga siya (drug war) dahil ang kampanya laban sa droga, maraming aspeto. Halos lahat ng pondo, ibinuhos sa pagtugis ng mga small time pushers at users. Nakaligtaan iyong aspeto na kung saan galing ang bulto ng droga na bumibiktima sa kabataan at ating mamamayan,” she added.

'Dud' report

In Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo described Robredo's report as a "dud," stressing that the Vice President said "nothing new."

“If you notice when she was threatening this report, she implied na meron siyang nadiskubreng iregularidad. Akala mo ay bombang sasabog. It’s a dud.  Wala naman siyang sinabi dun na bago na hindi tutututukan ng mga ahensiya na involved laban sa droga,” Panelo said in a briefing.

"There is nothing new in what she said," he added.

Panelo also said it was Robredo's tenure in ICAD which is a failure. "Palagay ko 'yung failure 'yung pag-upo niya," he said.

No progress report

Robredo also lamented that there were no progress reports on drug users who turned themselves in to authorities, or if ever they even underwent rehabilitation in the first place and that as such, there is no way to know if the number of drug users has been declining as a result of the war on drugs.

Robredo cited that while PDEA’s working numbers on drug users is four million, PDEA admitted that this estimate is not based on any scientific formula. Moreover, the PNP has only accounted for 1.5 million drug users, of which 1.2 million are surrenderers and over 300,000 arrested.

“How many of the 1.5 million drug users accounted for are in detention centers, or jails? Do we know the status of their cases? If they are undergoing rehabilitation, how many of them are outpatient; inpatient? Do we now how many have completed rehabilitation?” Robredo said in her report.

Robredo said the government did not even have data on who many drug users received rehabilitation or any medical intervention, but based on the data from United States Agency for International Development’s rapid assessment, only 32 to 50% of drug users were able to undergo assessment on how bad their drug addiction is and only 10 to 15% of them received community rehabilitation.

“At kung four million ang drug users, nasaan ang 2.5 million? Hindi rin nila alam roon sa four million kung alin ang drug users or drug pushers. Tapos sinasabi may drug free na mga barangay. Paano nating masasabing drug free drug free ang isang barangay kung walang maayos na datos at hindi natin alam kung nagkaroon ba ng karampatang intervention,” Robredo said.

Duterte to lead drug war

At the same time, Robredo said no less than President Rodrigo Duterte should lead the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

She cited that while Executive Order 15 issued by Duterte in 2017 called for the creation of a National Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force, such has yet to be formed to this day.

“Itong EO 15 na nagtayo rin ng ICAD, sinasabi na mayroong dapat national anti-illegal durgs task force. Dalawang taon na, wala pa ring aksyon ukol rito,” Robredo said.

“Hindi co-chair ang kailangan ng ICAD. Kailangan ang Pangulo ang commander-in-chief rito. Iyong mga high value targets, sila dapat ang gusto nating habulin kasi sila ang kumikita ng malaki rito,” she added.

During her tenure as ICAD co-chair, Robredo had called on law enforcement agents to stop drug war-related killings, visited community-based rehabilitation centers for drug dependents and drug-infested communities, called on the public to help the government in clearing their places of the illegal drug trade.

She also submitted two reports to President Rodrigo Duterte based on what she gathered during her brief ICAD stint, but he did not respond to these reports.

Duterte eventually fired Robredo on November 24 for allegedly failing to perform her duty in ICAD.

Robredo said she has been given information about high value targets of the drug war but she did not include that in her report since her office cannot independently verify it.

She, however, said she will communicate this information to Duterte in a letter. —KBK/RSJ, GMA News