Robredo wants clear drug war baseline data finished by end of year
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has asked agencies under the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) to produce clear baseline data on the campaign against illegal drugs by the end of the year.
Robredo said that this topic was one of the key points of her meeting with ICAD’s law enforcement cluster on Thursday — which includes the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other agencies.
“‘Yong aming target until the end of the year, mayroon nang linaw. I think DILG would need more time to finish the information system, pero ipe-present nila sa amin on Tuesday,” she told reporters in an ambush interview.
(Our target until the end of the year, it has been clear. I think DILG would need more time to finish the information system, but they would present it to us on Tuesday.)
The baseline data that Robredo is talking about refers to the numbers in the early stages of the drug war in 2016 — like the number of drug users and drug dependents, the number of surrenderees, number of arrested individuals, the court cases, and the users undergoing rehabilitation.
These data would be compared to the current numbers, in order to gauge the accomplishments — still part of her proposal to refine the metrics used to know what needs to be addressed under the campaign.
“Unang na-highlight is as of now, walang clear baselines, so iyon iyong pinagtatrabahuhan. Mayroon nang efforts to do that,” Robredo relayed.
“So iyon iyong unang agreement: na tapusin na iyong baselines kasi iyon nga, after a while, wala pa rin, hindi pa rin available,” she added.
(What was highlighted is that there are no clear baselines, so that is what we are going to work on. There are efforts to do that. That is the first agreement, finish the baselines because, after a while, it is not yet available.)
After Robredo’s first meeting with ICAD last Friday, she said that they are expediting the production of numbers on the drug war so that they can have an idea of what they are up against. However, she noted that the drug war numbers cannot be relied upon as it was not backed by solid evidence.
There are different versions of the drug user numbers released ever since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his presidential bid in 2016. In September 2016, the Dangerous Drugs Board said there were at least 1.8 million drug users.
However, Duterte had a different number on that same year — he mentioned the existence of 3 to 4 million drug users.
But just this March, during the campaign sorties of the senatorial slate he supports, Duterte said that the number has swelled to around 7 to 8 million — a 5 to 6 million increase despite a bloody anti-drug program.
Malacañang previously said these were national figures, but Robredo said there are questions on the integrity of the numbers.
Edited by MUF
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