PNP: Robredo’s figures on drug war ‘totally wrong’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday belied Vice President Leni Robredo’s claim that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs is a “massive failure,” as it only managed to curtail 1% of the total illegal drugs and drug money exchanged on the streets.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa disagreed with Robredo that the drug war is a failure as the figures that Vice President has cited to come up with such a conclusion are “totally wrong.”
“Whether her numbers are merely an estimate or the exact value, in any case, the figure derived is totally wrong,” Gamboa said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
He pointed out that under the government’s drug war, 14 clandestine drug laboratories and 419 drugs dens were discovered and destroyed.
Gamboa claimed that this may represent a 100% success rate for the anti-drug war since it would mean that “there is no more local production of methamphetamine products in the country.
Meanwhile, about 5.1 tons of crystal meth or “shabu,” 2.2 tons of marijuana, and 500 kilograms of cocaine and 42,473 ecstasy pills, all amounting to P40.39 billion, have been seized by law enforcement authorities from 2016 to 2019, Gamboa added.
Police said that for the same period, a total of 151,601 anti-drug operations have been conducted, resulting in the arrest of 220,728 violators — 8,185 of which are high-value target — and the death of 5,552 drug personalities.
Gamboa claimed that the operations were able to cleanse 16,706 drug-affected barangays in the country.
He also pointed out that 55 police officers have died in their line of work during the drug war.
“It would be the height of disrespect to say that they died a useless death because they failed to stop the drug problem,” he said.
Gamboa vowed that the PNP will focus its anti-drug war operations against upper and middle-level high value targets engaged in trafficking of commercial quantity of 50 grams of illegal drugs or more.
During a press conference on Monday, Robredo bared that the government only managed to seize 1,344.87 kilograms of shabu in 2019, 785.31 kilograms in 2018, 1,053.91 kilograms in 2017.
In contrast, some 3,000 kilograms of shabu estimated to be consumed by drug users per week or 156,000 kilograms per year, based on the data provided to Robredo by the Drug Enforcement Group of the PNP.
Robredo added that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) was only able to freeze P1.4 billion of drug assets – a meager amount since 3,000 kilograms of shabu translates to P25 billion per week or P1.3 trillion per year.
The Vice President’s report was based on her 18-day stint as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD).
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