Only 1 percent of shabu seized? Palace casts doubt on Robredo report

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other agencies tagged by Vice President Leni Robredo should respond to her claim that only 1 percent of total illegal drugs in the country were seized, Malacañang said Monday.

“I’d rather wait for the PDEA, as well as those involved to respond to that,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

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“Sila ang makakaalam kung one, totoo ang figures na yan. Number two, kung bakit ganon ang resulta. There must be some explanation to that,” he added.

(They are the ones who know if one, the figures are correct and number two, the reason behind the result. There must be some explanation to that.)

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Robredo earlier unveiled her report during her short stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and described the government’s war against illegal drugs was a “massive failure.”

Citing police data, Robredo said around 3,000 kilos of shabu is consumed in the country every week or around 156,000 kilos per year.

However, she noted the same data showed it only seized 1,344.87 kilograms in 2019, 785.31 kilograms in 2018, 1,053.91 kilograms in 2017.

“But it doesn’t mean that it’s a failure even assuming that to be true,” Panelo said. “It doesn’t mean na failure kahit one percent. Paano magiging failure? Maraming sinirang factories ng droga, marami ang nahuli, marami ang nakademanda, marami ang nasalanta, marami ang nirerehabilitate.”

(It doesn’t mean na failture kahit one percent. How was that a failure? Many drug factories were destroyed, many were arrested, many were rehabilitated.)

Robredo was appointed as ICAD co-chair by President Rodrigo Duterte after she called for a reassessment of the administration’s war on drugs.

But Duterte fired Robredo after two weeks as a response to the opposition’s dare to remove the Vice President from her post due to lack of trust, Malacañang said.

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