MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to furnish human rights groups with a copy of the report on the government's anti-narcotics campaign.
Duterte said human rights organizations critical of the current administration need to see the drug war report to enlighten them about the gravity of the drug problem in the country.
“Itong batikos nang batikos sa gobyerno, I suggest that ‘yung lahat or pati PDEA, if you are listening now, magbigay kayo ng isang report lang siguro PDEA, lahat ng datos na ibigay ng mga different law enforcement agency at ibigay sa Human Rights (To those criticizing the government, I suggest the PDEA, if you are listening now, submit a report, all the data from different law enforcement agencies, to human rights groups),” he said in a taped Talk to the People aired Tuesday night.
Duterte issued the directive after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año informed him that anti-drug operatives have seized illegal drugs amounting to PHP453,203,447 from March 20 to 26 alone.
Año also said about 1,627 drug personalities have been arrested during the anti-drug operations conducted last week.
Duterte told drug war critics to study the report.
“Kaya maintindihan nila ako kay – eh kay kung pag-aralan mo lang ‘yang distribution na ‘yan umabot dito tonelada, ilang Pilipino sa araw na dumadating, maghithit ng – bibira nang bibira sa shabu. Iyan na lang ang tandaan nila. Kaya minsan nandito kayo sa Pilipinas, ‘di mag-aral kayo (They would understand if they study the distribution of tons of illegal drugs arriving in the country. They should remember that. Since they are here in the Philippines, they should study). You can have access to all available information regarding the situational condition ng aking bayan (of my country),” he said.
The President said human rights advocates, especially those who have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe his anti-narcotics drive, should understand that the use of illegal drugs is “very deleterious to the human body.”
He also lamented that the drug menace remains a problem even though law enforcement agencies are working “double-time” to address it.
“Ibigay ninyo ang kopya ng ilang toneladang shabu araw-araw na dumadagsa sa Pilipinas (Give them a copy of the report on how many tons of shabu are being shipped to the Philippines) and let them ponder on the number of Filipino, iyang younger generation, itong mga ecstasy, iyong mga tawag nila na mga cocktail ano para nila kung gaano talaga kabigat (the younger generations, the ecstasy pills, and the cocktail of drugs, so they would know how serious the problem is),” Duterte said.
He expressed optimism that critics would realize the seriousness of the drug problem in the country.
Duterte once again raised worry over the possible resurgence of illegal drugs.
“In spite or despite our talagang double-time na ano, marami pa rin (efforts to work double-time, there’s still a drug shipment). Iyang tonelada na ‘yan, ewan kung nakapasok ‘yan (Tons of illegal drugs are being shipped, I don’t know if they were able to enter the country), it will be distributed all throughout the country and fundamentally, it is really something that is very, very deleterious to the human body,” he said.
A total of 24,303 villages nationwide have been cleared of illegal drugs since the start of the drug campaign in July 2016, according to the Real Numbers data released by the PDEA as of January 31 this year.
Only 11,129 villages have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs, while 6,613 others remain drug-free.
A total of 1,008 drug dens and 18 clandestine shabu laboratories have also been dismantled, while various types of illegal drugs worth PHP75.35 billion, including PHP63.22 billion worth of shabu, have been seized.
About 327,039 drug personalities have been arrested, while 6,229 others have died during the conduct of a total of 226,662 anti-drug operations.
Of those arrested, about 14,389 individuals are considered high-value targets, including 396 elected public officials and 136 uniformed personnel.
Ready to comply
Meanwhile, PDEA said it will comply with the President's order to furnish human rights groups with a copy of the report on the government's anti-narcotics campaign.
“As President Rodrigo Roa Duterte previously stated, the PDEA shall act in accordance with his directive to submit an up-to-date report on the volume of seized illegal drugs, most especially methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, in the Philippines to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and local human rights groups,” the agency said in a statement posted in its official social media account.
It added that it is "ready, willing, and able" to present any appropriate data related to the national anti-drug campaign when solicited. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)