Año questions Robredo’s figures in drug report

Published January 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Saying the report runs contrary to logic, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Vice President Leni Robredo’s “dismal failure” rating of the government’s drug war may have been derived from the raw information from the law enforcers which cannot be considered as final statistics.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año (DILG / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año

Admitting that he is not privy to the figures Robredo divulged, Año said it is unimaginable for him that 3,000 kilograms of illegal drugs are consumed weekly in the country.

Explaining his point, Año said 3,000 kilograms is equivalent to three tons, with a big military truck weighing 2.5 tons.

In her report, Robredo claimed the police estimate that 3,000 kilograms of shabu (crystal methamphetamine) worth P25 billion are consumed in the country on a weekly basis with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confiscating only 1,344.87 kilograms in 2019.

“Probably the basis is one interview, and they’re actually pointing to a particular period of time, but you cannot generalize it as if it is the gospel truth,’’ Año said.

In her 40-page report, Robredo gave the government’s anti-drug drive a failing grade, saying that only one percent of the total drug supply and money was confiscated from 2016 to 2019.

Robredo said the figures she reported were based on statistics obtained from the PNP and PDEA.

But Año shrugged off Robredo’s claim that Oplan Tokhang (knock-and-plead scheme), a strategy to convince suspected drug users to stop using illegal drugs, has no operational guidelines. He said all law enforcement operations in the country have guidelines before pushing through.

The DILG chief attested to this, claiming to have read the complete operational plan from Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Double Barrel, and Double Barrel Reloaded, which are all documented.

Earlier, PDEA chief Director General Aaron Aquino said Robredo was off target to say that the government’s drug war is a “dismal failure” merely from estimated figures and not official records.