A dud – this was how presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo described Vice President Leni Robredo’s Monday presentation in which she called the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs a failure.
“If you notice when she was threatening this report, she implied na meron siyang nadiskubreng iregularidad. Akala mo ay bombang sasabog. It’s a dud. Wala naman siyang sinabi dun na bago na hindi tutututukan ng mga ahensiya na involved laban sa droga,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“There is nothing new in what she said,” he added.
As to Robredo’s conclusion that the war on drugs was a failure, the presidential spokesperson mockingly dismissed the claim.
“Palagay ko ‘yung failure ‘yung pag-upo niya,” said Panelo, referring to the Vice President’s 19-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Eh kung failure ‘yun, eh di sana ‘yung problema natin sa droga inabot na siguro ang lahat ng pamilya,” the spokesperson argued further.
“The fact remains we have dismantled so many illegal drugs factories; the fact remains we have also caused the surrender of thousands of drug addicts and pushers; the fact remains that due to many police operations there have been casualties by reason of violent reactions to entrapment operations and arrest of these people involved in drugs; also, even high valued target drug suspects have been neutralized.”
“These are the facts,” Panelo emphasized.
‘Hindi siya nakikinig sa paliwanag’
Panelo went on to accuse Robredo of being deaf to President Rodrigo Duterte’s claims.
“Ang sabi ni Presidente, sang-ayon sa PDEA, ang involved sa drugs mga 1.4 something ‘yun pala ‘yun ay concentrated lamang sa Maynila. Ang natuklasan niya kapag buong Pilipinas na ang pinag-uusapan, umaabot na sa ganun karami,” he said.
“I can’t even understand why hindi siya nakikinig sa paliwanag ni Presidente. Pinaliwanag na rin sa kanya nung andun siya naupo. Ang problema kasi ang ginawa niya nun puro press conferences, puro pakikiusap sa hindi naman dapat kausapin kaya ayun ang nangyari.”
Panelo said that Duterte’s figures were based on government data which were inaccessible to Robredo.
“Siguro wala siyang figures na pinanghahawakan, si Presidente meron. Si Presidente being President has unlimited resources. Si VP Leni andun lang siya sa opisina niya, naging magaling na agad,” he said.
On Robredo’s claim that only one percent of the shabu supply and drug money had been seized in the three years of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, Panelo said the Vice President’s figures were wrong.
“Mali ang computation niya. Ang mahalaga marami ang na-confiscate, sabi may nakapasok and yet the same na pumasok ay nahuli din. May pumapasok pero nahuhuli,” he said.
“I think she just wants to be relevant,” Panelo added.
The President’s spokesperson then explained that the country was composed of islands and there were many ports through which illegal drugs could be smuggled.
“Maraming pwedeng pasukan at hindi lahat nababantayan pero kapag nalaman natin ay nahuhuli din. Marami nang drug free na barangays, paano masasabing failure. Hindi totally eradicated dahil maraming pumapasok pero nahuhuli pa rin natin,” said Panelo.
Pressed on the figures presented by Robredo, Panelo added that he would leave it to the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to confirm these numbers.
“There must be an explanation but it does not mean that it is a failure,” he said.
Asked if the President received the reports submitted by Robredo, Panelo said he would ask the Duterte later in the day. — DVM, GMA News