By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called Vice President Leni Robredo’s assessment of President Duterte’s drug war a “travesty,” saying the former co-chairperson of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) disregarded the efforts of the agencies involved in the campaign.
Andanar made the statement after Robredo called the drug war a failure and said that the government’s three-year drug war seized only one percent of the total shabu supply in the country.
“We are deeply disappointed with how Vice President Leni Robredo views the progress that the Duterte administration’s campaign on illegal drugs campaign has brought to the Philippines so far,” he said.
“It is a complete travesty which discounts the works and efforts of our law enforcement agencies and other relevant agencies in their collective fight against illegal drugs,” he added.
The Palace official likewise doubted Robredo’s judgment, saying she constantly denied any accomplishments made by the Duterte administration in its anti-narcotics drive and ignored “hard facts.”
“We are unsure of the basis of her judgments, whether it’s through a haphazard compilation of easily available facts and statistics that she accessed during her 18-day stint as ICAD co-chair, or her vested political attacks to criticize this administration,” Andanar said.
He insisted that President Duterte’s drug war was not a failure but admitted that the campaign continues to face challenges.
“It’s true that this campaign continues to face challenges such as the increasing magnitude of drug trade regionally and globally. But given the facts, one cannot call the campaign a failure,” Andanar said.
The drug war has so far cleared 16,706 barangays of illegal drugs; seized P40.39 billion worth of illegal drugs; dismantled 433 drug dens and clandestine laboratories; saw the arrest of 8,185 high-value targets; and enrolled 485,295 surrenderees to the government’s reformation program, among others.
He added that the drug war led to a significant decrease in the nationwide index crime incidents from 11,860 in July, 2016, to 5,000 in July, 2019. This also resulted in the increase in the satisfaction rating to 82 percent of the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs as shown in a survey in September, 2019. It also increased the trust rating of President Duterte peaking at 87 percent in December, 2019.
Andanar, meanwhile, said that Robredo’s remarks will not discourage the administration from doing its duties.
“Despite VP Robredo’s vitriolic pronouncements on the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, we will not be discouraged from fulfilling President Duterte’s vision and legacy. We will continue to perform our duties to realize a drug-free Philippines for all Filipinos,” he said.