• Palace downplays Aquino’s
    ’nothing’ comment on Duterte drug war


    MALACANANG has downplayed former president Benigno Aquino 3rd’s comment that it seemed like nothing was happening in the Duterte administration’s war against drugs.

    Aquino, in a media interview on Tuesday, questioned the effectiveness of the Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, saying his administration did not launch an all-out war but was able to reduce the number of illegal drug users.

    Comparing 2015 and 2016 figures, both recorded 1.8 million users. Aquino said: “Parang wala yatang nangyari [It seems like nothing happened].”

    But Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella rejected Aquino’s claims, saying “the results of PRRD’s (President Rodrigo Duterte’s) anti-illegal drug campaign speak for themselves.”

    He said Duterte’s war on drugs resulted in the unprecedented voluntary surrender of more than 1.3 million drug personalities.

    “Comments like the above from past leaders imply a jaded cynicism borne of a history of political opportunism,” Abella said in a statement.

    Abella then cited that 96,703 drug personalities have been arrested in the first year of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs compared to 77,810 drug personalities arrested in the six years of the Aquino administration.

    He added that 2,445.80 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) have been seized in the first year of the present administration’s anti-drug campaign compared to the 3,219.07 kilos of shabu seized in the six years of the previous administration.

    “Much ground has been gained in the campaign against hard drug traffickers and violators, but the mission is to end the demand, production, distribution and sale of illegal drugs,” Abella said.


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