VP Leni is correct on Duterte’s drug war failure if…

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc - CDN Digital | January 10,2020 - 08:24 AM

I might agree with Vice President Leni Robredo’s report that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is a failure as of this time, if we swallow her idea of a passing score. But I don’t agree that it is a massive failure like what she describes as 1 over 100 score if it were an examination.

VP Leni finally revealed her well-hyped report from her 18-day stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). She gave the administration’s drug war a dismal “1 out of 100” score, stating that authorities were only able to seize one percent of the total supply of illegal drugs in the country.

Some senators question the data source of the VP, considering that she admitted that both the PNP and the PDEA did not give her the information that she demanded. Recall that opposition senators even lambasted the two government agencies for not giving the information to the co-chairperson of the ICAD.

Hence, Senator Bato de la Rosa’s question has basis as to the official source of the VP report. Expectedly, people from the different sides have different opinions on the figure given.

Anyway, it is not a surprise that the figures between the administration and the opposition pertaining to the war on drugs always contradict each other. From the very start, both parties have a bit exaggerated numbers.

Example: While the government says that there are about four thousand drug addicts and drug lords killed in legitimate police operations, the opposition says there are 12 thousand already. Worst, there are other groups that bloated the number to 27 thousand and alleged that they are victims of extra judicial killings (EJK).

I would rather take a closer look on Robredo’s figure in relation to the one admitted by PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino. In laying down the foundation before throwing her question, VP Leni said, “Ang sabi nila mayroon lang mahigit 1.2 milyon ang sumuko noong 2016. Mayroon din 300,000 na naaresto sa mga operasyon ng pulis. Ang sumatotal 1.5 milyon. Kung gagawin natin ang 4 milyon estimate at 1.5 milyon palang ang accounted for, nasaan ang 2.5 milyon?

In asking such question, VP Leni reveals that her one percent score on the Duterte administration’s drug war is wrong. Let us use the simple math: 1.5 million that has been accounted for is what percent of 4 million?  In reverse the 2.5 million whose whereabouts are subject to her question is what percent of 4 million?

We do not need an engineer or an accountant to help us solving that simple problem. The exact figure in our computation would come out that 1.5 million is 37.5 percent of 4 million. Consequently, the 2.5 million is 62.5 percent of 4 million.

Imagine that 37.5 percent drug lords and addicts put together are taken out from the public because of Duterte, then there are still 62.5 percent left roaming around. Therefore, if we give that 37.5 percent as grade of the Duterte’s war on drugs, there is still a failure if the passing is 75 percent, like in the bar exams, or 60 percent, like what many schools have adopted, or even 50 percent, passing out of mercy.

The 37.5 percent grade is believable, although it is still a “failure” in the meantime but is way better as compared to the somewhat funny 1% mentioned by VP Leni.

The question is: Do people, the ultimate judge, feel the 37.5 percent reduction of drug lords and addicts in the community? Surveys after surveys of both SWS and Pulse Asia on peoples’ support to the war on drugs clearly say “YES”!

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TAGS: CDN Digital opinion, columnist Ruphil Bañoc

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