PNP: 'Three tons of shabu a week' estimate came from police but was 'theoretical, hypothetical'
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said this was their observation during Robredo’s tenure at ICAD from Nov. 6 to 24.
PNP Photo

PNP: 'Three tons of shabu a week' estimate came from police but was 'theoretical, hypothetical'

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 8, 2020 - 2:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — The data that Vice President Leni Robredo presented did come from the Philippine National Police, its spokesperson said, adding however, that these were "unofficial estimates."

Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said on ANC's "Early Edition" that although the PNP did release the figures that Robredo used, "it was just theoretical, hypothetical consumption of drug users."

The PNP general also said that Robredo's tagging of the campaign against illegal drugs as a "failure" was unfair, pointing out that 14 clandestine laboratories and 419 drug dens were destroyed and dismantled in the campaign.

RELATED: The War on Drugs: In-depth reports and analyses on the government's bloody anti-narcotics campaign

'No more local shabu makers'

He claimed there was no more local production of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, in the country, which signified a 100% success rate in the eyes of the police. "It is [now] being smuggled in from outside with the involvement of international drug syndicates," he said. 

Robredo also used a hypothetical measurement of drug consumption to compare the amount of drugs confiscated, the PNP mouthpiece said. "We cannot use that in comparing the two. It's not a complete picture of the situation," he said. 

According to Banac, the PNP in tracking their data "postulated that there was about 0.15 grams of shabu being consumed twice a day by the users." They said that given an estimated three million users nationwide, this meant there were about 450 grams per day, which would equate to 3.15 tons of shabu per week.  

He joins many other pro-administration solons challenging the validity of the vice president's pronouncements. 

"I'm sure it was explained to her [when we met]. I don't know how she got it or if she understood it well," he added. 

"There was really no opportunity for us to apprise her of the real situation on the ground, [so] the data might have been misunderstood by the vice president."

READ: Robredo failed to meet with ICAD clusters — PDEA chief

'Deaths incomparable to safety'

The criticisms of Robredo's report continued to pour in on Wednesday, two days after the initial release of her report. 

"Coffins ain't bad. True they should be embarrassed to point at some coffins esp the little one. But most ended drug dealing careers—permanently. That's quantifiable success," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted. 

He was referring to the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, whom police said drew fire on them first.

Witness accounts along with CCTV footage later found that the teen was given a gun by officers and told to run and fire. Two Caloocan police officers were consequently found guilty of murdering the boy

PNP numbers say that around 5,500 "drug personalities" have been killed in official operations. 

Many rights organizations dispute this number, saying the death toll was actually closer to 27,000. The PNP's own data says that 22,983 deaths took place since the start of the "drug war", but these were listed as “homicides under investigation” and were not linked to the anti-drug campaign.

READ: Robredo points out 'inconsistent' government data on 'drug war'

Locsin belied these numbers and slammed the International Criminal Court, who are currently probing the anti-narcotics "war." The diplomat also tweeted that the dead deserved their fate. 

"Who died in drug war—but for those murdered by dirty cops who should be murdered if we had an iota of decency—deserved it. Must be data driven or we rely on hallucinations of Europeans who don't bathe daily. ICC just said their 27,000 count is fiction; pwede pa 5,500."

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the truth was found on the ground and took more than numbers to find. 

RELATED: NUJP: Sotto 'overstepping bounds' in request to take down Pepsi Paloma stories

"The president's high approval ratings after thtee years, is incompatible with a grand failure accusation. Dati takot ang mga tao sa adik; ngayon ang adik ang takot," he tweeted. 

"The drug problem is not explained by numbers alone. It is deeper than mere arithmetic."

Banac said the national police would take the vice president's comments in stride but would hold firm to their current initiatives. 

"We have a very high regard for the vice president, but we will not be moved and we will not be shaken. We will take this as a challenge [to] do better and pursue our campaign relentlessly for 2020," Banac said. 

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