Press Briefing

Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella with Chairperson Dionisio Santiago Dangerous Drugs Board

Event Press Briefing
Location Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace


Good morning.

We are pleased to have today Dangerous Drugs Board Chairperson, Secretary Dionisio R. Santiago.

He served as Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2003. As a military man, he was assigned to different positions such as Vice Chief of Staff, Commanding General of SoCom, and Commander of the Philippine Army.

Upon retirement from the military, he was assigned to several government positions. He was appointed as Director of the Bureau of Corrections, Executive Director of the Dangerous Drugs Board, and Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

He took up Mechanical Engineering in Mapua Institute of Technology before entering the Philippine Military Academy. He also finished his Masters in Public Administration in Seattle University in the US.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us welcome Secretary Dionisio Santiago, sir.

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, officials and staff of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, members of the media, friends, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning.

I am honored to be invited in this press briefing to provide our friends from the media information on our campaign against drugs.

Addressing the drug problem remains to be among the top priorities of the Philippine government. Under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the anti-drug campaign has been enhanced and strengthened through the collaboration of national government agencies as well as the support of non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups and the private sector.

Within their respective mandates, agencies of the government have been contributing to the realization of a drug-free Philippines through the implementation of strategies and programs based on a holistic and comprehensive five-pillar approach.

[garbled] the reduction efforts led by our country’s law enforcement units have resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs, arrest of drug perpetrators and dismantling of clandestine laboratories at an all time high.

Our intensified efforts in drug reduction, on the other hand, have prodded us to focus on programs that involve communities and build individual capacities. These programs include initiatives for the youth, vulnerable groups and high-risk populations.

To ensure that these programs are sustained, partnership and cooperation with different sectors of the Philippine society such as the academe, labor force, faith-based groups and non-government organizations are fostered.

Information dissemination efforts and advocacy campaigns are also strengthened through the utilization of technology and the social media.

The Philippines continues to put individuals at the heart of the anti-drug abuse campaign and transform them as catalyst to start advancing positive value formation in their circles. We believe that every Filipino must take a stand against the drug menace.

On alternative development, the Philippines is working on expanding its programs to go beyond addressing illicit crop cultivation and to include provision of livelihood opportunities for drug victims in the urban areas.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the negative impact of drug abuse in the society. Once reduced, it will lead to the attainment of a drug resistant and eventually a drug-free Philippines.

In defining a drug-free society, it means systems are in place; mechanisms are set; laws, policies and regulations are in order to guarantee that our communities become drug resistant.

If our communities sustain their existence as drug resistant environments, surely they will become drug free in the long run.

Allow me now to provide some details on the drug situation and our programs to address the country’s drug problem.

The seriousness of the problem in the country can be seen with the increasing number of arrested drug traffickers and perpetrators, seizures of big volume of drugs and voluntary surrender of drug users.

Under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, law enforcement agencies have recorded an increase in anti-drug operations conducted and drug personalities arrested.

From July 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017, more than 70,000 anti-drug operations were conducted which resulted in the arrest of more than 100,000 drug personalities.

With the heightened campaign of the government and the priority given to anti-drug programs, drug users have voluntarily surrendered to authorities. As of 29 August 2017, 1,380,078 persons who used drugs have been provided with appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services and interventions.

An increasing trend in admissions in residential treatment and rehabilitation facilities have also been observed as shown in the slide.

On the screen is the profile of drug dependents based on the data of users admitted in rehabilitation centers. A shift in the nature of drug use from poly to mono drug use has been noted.

Over the last five years, an increase in the number of mono drug users has been gradually observed especially among those who abuse methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

As a response to this situation, the Philippine government employs a five pillar comprehensive and holistic approach. These are drug supply reduction, drug demand reduction, alternative development, civic awareness and response, and regional and international cooperation.

The anti-drug operations conducted in 2016, increased by 117 percent. A bulk of this was conducted from July to December during the administration of President Duterte.

In terms of drug personalities arrested, 176 percent increase from 2017 — from 2015 — was recorded. From July 1, 2016 to May 30, 2017, 35,435 drug cases were filed. Drug cases filed in 2016 increased by 89 percent from 2015.

Operations conducted from July 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017 resulted in the seizures of 2,465 kilos of shabu. The volume of shabu seized in 2016 is higher by 271 percent compared to the seizure in 2015.

The Dangerous Drugs Board enacted 11 policies in the form of board regulations in 2016 and three for the first half of 2017. These policies were issued to ensure the implementation of programs that are attuned to the current situation.

Allow me to give a brief description of some of the policies recently issued. Guidelines on voluntary surrender of drug users and dependents and monitoring mechanism of barangay drug abuse campaigns. This regulation was issued to respond to the surge in the number of drug users voluntarily surrendering to authorities.

The Dangerous Drugs Board wants to ensure that these drug users will be provided with appropriate interventions through the establishment of community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs and services.

Strengthening the implementation of Barangay Drug Clearing program. This mandated local government officials to take the lead in freeing their communities from the influence of drugs through the conduct of both supply and demand reduction programs.

A range of educational program services designed to address the needs of every sector of the society are also implemented.

In addition to these existing efforts, two new programs were initiated. First is the capacity building for local government officials, program implementers and volunteers on handling voluntary surrender of drug users and the establishment of community-based treatment and rehabilitation.

Another new program is aimed to address the needs of vulnerable groups like the urban poor. The Urban Poor Against Drugs was conceptualized to capacitate peoples’ organization to take action against the proliferation of illegal drugs in their communities. This program is being implemented in partnership with the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.

We continue to implement school-based prevention education programs.

Anti-drug principles are incorporated into the school curriculum through the National Drug Education Program. This is aligned with the international standards and issuances on drug demand reduction.

We also have training on life skills enhancement. And as you may notice, all these are done in partnership with other government agencies and also non-government organization in the spirit of convergence.

We have the Peer Group Against Drugs. Our flagship program wherein the youth are tapped to lead their peers or friends towards a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

We also gather youth leaders from all over the country in a Congress where they are given the chance to propose anti-drug programs and policies. For students in the 5th and 6th level of primary schooling, police officers teach them drug prevention concepts through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program or the DARE program. On the screen are some of our school-based substance use prevention interventions.

The National Service Training Program for college student leaders on preventive education, drug abuse prevention program for scoutmasters and leaders and self-discovery seminars for kids.

We also have a seminar workshop for campus journalists, school administrators and members of the academe.

For families, we have the Family Drug Abuse Prevention program in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the systematic training for effective parenting.

In the workplace, we advocate the institutionalization of drug-free workplace program including the formulation of anti-drug policy, training and advocacy programs, random drug testing and employee assistance program. Capacity building programs are regularly conducted for different sectors.

The DDB continues to help the health sector, doctors, pharmacists, nurses and allied professionals to carry out their important role in the prevention of diversion of controlled precursors and essential chemicals from illicit — to the illicit market.

To address problems on the dismissal of drug cases and operations lapses, judges, prosecutors and law enforcers are also convened regularly.

We also conduct continuing education to law enforcement personnel on anti-illegal drug operation and investigation. To help in the formulation of more evidence-based programs, the DDB also trains duty bearers on the universal prevention curriculum as espoused by the Colombo Plan, Drug Advisory Program.

In the communities, focus is given to out-of-school youth who are vulnerable to the influence of illegal drugs. And we also tap faith-based organizations and other sectors like the senior citizens.

On treatment and rehabilitation, the Department of Health continues to monitor 49 accredited treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the country.

Efforts on research include the establishment and enhancement of monitoring and reporting systems. The DDB continues to enhance the Integrated Drug Abuse Data and Information Network or IDADIN for the collection of treatment and rehabilitation data from facilities.

We have also established the Integrated Drug Monitoring and Reporting Information System to collect, manage and analyze data and information on drug abuse prevention.

On alternative development, we are looking into expanding its definition to include the provision of alternative livelihood or sources of income to high-risk group in the urban areas.

To reach more and more Filipinos and encourage them to join the anti-drug advocacy, we mobilize advocates through the conduct of special events like the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

We also make use of technology and the social media in bringing the anti-drug advocacy closer to the people. We maintain and update our website and official social media accounts with information on drug prevention and control. These are now being used by the public to report drug-related information and send inquiries on treatment and rehabilitation services including preventive education programs.

Finally, we continue to be one with our regional and international counterparts in the promotion and sharing of best practices, technical assistance and exchange, and adherence to treaties and agreements.

The Philippines also maintains the ASEAN Training Center on Preventive Drug Education based at the College of Education, University of the Philippines and is supported by the Dangerous Drugs Board.

And finally, if our media friends have some questions and concerns, I would be glad to respond to them. Thank you very much and good morning again.


Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, good morning po. Sir, would you be able to quantify kung ilan ‘yung amount ng drugs that are circulating in our country and the number of drug addicts?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: ‘Yung circulating as of now, hindi ko na — I just sat down as the head of DDB.

We don’t want to commit a mistake. But we are undertaking some measures. I brought some IT people. So eventually ‘yung website namin isang pindot niyo, makikita na niyo lahat ng information na kailangan niyo so kapag may question na lang kayo.

Ngayon, ang figure na natin na nakuha as of late, sa ating mga involved sa drugs ano, ‘yung mga tinatawag nating addicts or what, ang latest figure which came from the PDEA is 4 million. And I would like to give credence because they are the people on the ground. Sila ang merong data niyan.

Ngayon, we are coming out with a system, nandito kasama ko si — mga IT people natin. Si Secretary [?] mga IT people ‘to, we’re coming out with a program where we can crosscheck.

As of now, hindi na namin — walang crosschecking eh. Sa system namin, outdated ang system. Kasing antique ko ‘yung sistema namin eh. Kaya hindi updated.

So we’re coming out with a system and  Secretary [?] is right now [inaudible] working on it so that we can have a more accurate figure.

Later on, we don’t have to consult with other agencies. We’ll be doing the crosschecking and we’ll be coming out with a definite figure and that would be coming in maybe in the near future.

Mr. Morong: So, sir, four million po, as per PDEA na figure ‘no?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Yeah. Four million, dahil kasi ang PDEA, you know, as per law, PDEA is the controlling organization for law enforcement. Nandiyan ang pulis, nandiyan ang NBI, nandiyan ang Customs, kasama ‘yan, may mga law enforcement and PDEA itself.

So ‘yung mga nasa ground sila ‘yan. But, of course, we would like to crosscheck with the other agencies like the Department of Health. Department of Health, hawak nila ‘yung mga rehab facilities and they may not necessarily be accounted for ng ating law enforcement people.

We want to track ‘yung mga movement ng ating — ng ating mga drug addicts. Pati nga ‘yung relapse system. Tinitingnan namin dahil ‘yung relapse wala tayong exact figure dahil we discovered na ‘yung mga iba, from one rehab facility, they move to another. And wala kaming  system ng tracking.

So ‘yung actual relapse natin hindi kami accurate doon and we are working on that so that ‘yung — we can track the movement of our drug addicts from rehab to rehab.

Mr. Morong: Okay, sir. Just focusing on the statistics that you have on your PowerPoint, would you be able to describe, sir, the economic profile of those that are being hit by the drug war? For example, you have anti-drug operations, 70,800. These are individuals — ah no, no, no — these are number of operations, ‘no? Let’s focus on the drug personalities arrested, 107,156 and the number of deaths, 3,000 plus, would you be able to say, describe, sir, the economic profile of these people?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Ah pagka economic profile, automatic ‘yan. Ang mga kuwan dito — ang mga nasa drugs natin normally are coming from the marginalized community. Tingnan niyo major cities ‘yan. ‘Pag tiningnan niyo. Number one is Metro Manila, automatic.

Ang biggest number are coming from the marginalized sector, nandiyan ‘yung mga squatters na tinatawag natin. Dahil kasi nandiyan ang — diyan nanggagaling ‘yung ating mga marginalized community, ang mga jobless, pati nga mga criminal, diyan nanggagaling because of lack of opportunities ano.

Puntahan ninyo basta mga highly urbanized? You go to Cebu, highly urbanized. Davao, ewan ko ngayon  kung anong status. Pero noong araw, Davao, kasama ‘yan, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, automatic ‘yung mga highy urbanized because diyan nagco-converge ‘yung ating mga — akala nila maraming job opportunities, but Metro Manila, you know, the job opportunities are very limited.

So ang movement diyan from ordinary user, ang ginagamit ko sa intelligence community nag-i-spotting. Tinitingnan namin ‘yung papakinabangan, ang mabilis mong ma-entice niyan ‘yung walang hanapbuhay. Pagamitin mo ‘yan.

You just watch the movie. Kung anong nakikita niyo sa movie, pagagamitin ka, bandang huli, you need to sustain your needs and eventually ang gagawin mo, ginagawan mo ng pagkakakitaan. You are from ordinary addict, you become a pusher, and you become the… If you are the breadwinner of the family, you’ll use your income sa drug pushing to support your family.

Mr. Morong: Sir, given the 107,000 drug personalities and 3,811, just the 3,811 —

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Again, again please?


Mr. Morong: Just the [inaudible] 3,811 deaths?


Mr. Morong: Ah, yes, sir. Meron po kasing opinion that the drug war is anti-poor.

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Targeting ‘yung marginalized?

Mr. Morong: Anti-poor. Would you accep — would you agree?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi totoo ‘yan. Hindi totoo ‘yan.

Unang una, ‘yang mga namamatay na ‘yan, alam niyo hindi naman lahat ‘yan eh, napaka-convenient excuse ngayon ang pagpatay. Ikarga mo sa drugs ‘yan, eh parang sabi niya “forget it.”

Pero kung titingnan niyo, if you have a closer analysis… I have one, Mandaluyong. Balita ko diyan, politically-motivated eh. Pero ang sarap ikarga sa kuwan — ang sarap ikarga sa anti-drug campaign kasi ‘yun ang bumebenta, that sells eh and magandang gawing issue.

Maganda. Alam ninyo pagka — if you have the  experience, may experience, pati sa counter insurgency, ‘yung pagbagsak ng counter insurgency, I would like to claim credit a bit on this ‘no.

Dahil kasi nung umabot tayo ng 23,000 plus, pati kami sa Bicol ayaw na naming lumabas. Pero may nakukuha akong document ‘yung isa kong magaling na intelligence operative, nakita niya. Hinawakan lang eh, ipinasa. Nung pagbasa ko, pag-analyze ko, aba eh magandang dokumento ‘to.

And I brought it to no less than the chief of intelligence there, General [?], nilagyan ko lang ng note, sabi ko, “You may find use for this.”

Alam niyo kung ano laman no’n? I-check niyo, Operation Zombie. Doon very clear na makikita mo nagpapatayan, hindi — hindi military involved. Sila-sila nagpapatayan. Because they — hindi na nila malaman kung ‘yung kasama nila kakampi o hindi. Nagkaroon ng purging.

And from a high of 23,000 plus, bumagsak ang ating NPA na figure to 10,000. Iyon ang cause ng decline. The document revealed — parang revealed — that ‘yung pumapatay, walang kinalaman ang government, parang dito.

Lalo itong coming election.  You watch for more killings. They will be politically-motivated para ikakarga, “sarap banatan si Presidente eh, EJK.”

I’m sorry but I have to explain it in this manner, basing on my personal experience. Totoo ‘yan, watch for more killings comes election day. Pagka-election victim ka, wala na, halos — wala ng solution ‘yan eh. Charge to experience ‘yan.

Mr. Morong: All right. That’s it for me for the meantime.

Henry Uri (DZRH): Hi, General. I think mataas ang expectations sa inyo ng Pangulo. If it’s something that is lacking dito sa kanyang campaign against illegal drug, what do you think it is and what do you have — ?


Mr. Uri: Yeah. Ano ‘yung — ano naman ‘yung dala-dala ninyo para idagdag na solusyon dito sa paglaganap ng illegal na droga sa bansa?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO:  Unang una, huwag kayong magalit, ang kulang namin: media coverage. Media coverage, you are more interested to report ang isang barilan na may wounded. Banner headline ‘yan.

Itong effort namin, according to my people, 1:7. Ang effectiveness namin, for one person — for our advocacy campaign — seven persons sa law enforcement, pero dinadyaryo niyo ba kami?

Hindi bebenta ang dyaryo pagka walang patay. Ito dito, I’m very happy that nakikinig kayo ngayon sa akin, baka tulungan niyo kami because we want to go more on preventive.

Itong labanan natin after the fact eh. Gusto naming bawasan ‘to. Na-stop namin nung time ko as PDEA eh. We were able to stop at a figure where we — ‘yung inabutan namin.

Mag-movement man ‘yan, very minimal. ‘Pag tumaas ang presyo ng shabu, from three million a kilo, umabot kami ng 15 million at the highest. Noong iwanan ko ‘yan, 10 million per kilo. Ngayon, nasa limang milyon which indicates — law of supply and demand. Noong time ko kumonti eh.

Even the syndicates we’re afraid to come to the Philippines because alam namin — alam nila na wala silang magagawa dito sa Philippines during our time. Because we have close cooperation with China narcotics. We operated internationally and regionally with our counterparts ano. Malaysia, Singapore, China.

And modesty aside, if you listen to the briefing of the Chinese or other countries… Actually ‘yung briefing na ‘yon, we will claim credit, pero ‘yung credit goes to the Philippines because ‘yan ang operation [what do you call this?] — it is operation home run. We involved five countries. The Philippines ang lead. Even Thailand was involved. Pero ‘pag nag-briefing ‘ yan, the other countries, counterpart natin, it is their activity.

So ito ang — kagaya niyan, we want to stop… You know actually the fact kuwan na ‘yan eh, sakit na ng ulo ‘yan. So we would like to go healthy alternative like sports, skills development, livelihood, education, and napakaimportante, media coverage.

Media is a key player in this game. Because we want to educate our people. We want to tell them that this is — para lang din Divisoria ang ginagamit ko. Nagdi-Divisoria tayong lahat pero ‘yung ibang produkto ng China diyan ‘di niyo naman binibili eh. We do not buy everything. Ang gusto namin, ma-educate ang tao para maintindihan nila na hindi lahat ng…

Parang itong isang produktong bad for the health, bad for the body and bad for the country in general.

Mr. Uri: One follow up, sir. Based on PNP reports, marami hong gumagamit ng minors para sa pagtutulak ng droga.


Mr. Uri: Nang mga minors, ginagamit ‘yung minors sa pagtutulak ng droga. Ano inyong obserbasyon at as a policy-making body, ano ang inyong suggestion dito?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: You know, it’s very difficult kung idi-define mo ‘yang minor.

Bigyan ko ulit kayo ng istorya. Nag-aaway kami when I was assigned in Tagum. Tagum. I was assigned there sa mining area, may nahuli kami. Sa order of [inaudible] merong alyas Niño. Nang mahuli si Niño, 11 years old, nag-away kami. “Imposible,” sabi ko. Only to find out na ‘yung batang ‘yon mas criminal mind pa kaysa sa akin. You know what he does, basta ayaw niya ‘yung tao? Matangkad siyang bata. Patatayuin sa dead  tunnel, sa tagal na ‘yan, sasaksakin, bagsak ka na, you cannot be recovered anymore. 11 years old.

Ngayon, ang pinagtatalunan natin ‘yung age eh. Pero siguro kung ako ‘yun, I’ll just stick to the current kuwan ano. Kasi ‘yung bata, wala namang bata, ako may pamangkin ako eh, sinabihan ko — may apo ako sinabihan  ko na, “Dalawa lang ang pupuntahan mo, sementeryo o bilibid”.

Hindi ko makontrol eh. Pinag-aral ko. The environment has affected him, the family has affected him, wala nang pinapakinggan. Gumive-up (give up) ako. Ayokong gumive-up pero I have to give up because pinag-aaral ko. Once a week, ang aral sa Makati, libre pa. Eh, once a week, nag-aabsent pa eh.

Nang mabigyan ng — pinagtrabaho ko. Tinirial (trial) ko, pinag minor ah kuwan ko — ano ‘yung? Manual labor.

Sabi ko, bigyan ko ng one week ‘to. After three days sumurrender (surrender), binigyan namin ng pera, lumayas. Nandun, nakikipag-barkada nanaman sa Navotas.

The last I heard is he is in prison. Anong gagawin mo pagka ganon? Merong taong ayaw nang tumino.

Meron pa ring gustong magbigay ng chance sa kanya. I want to give him the chance but I want him to come back to me. Hindi ako susunod sa kanya ‘no. ‘Yan ang problema. This is personal note. And ‘yung isang sinabi ko, personal experience.

What will you do about people like this? Sinasabi niyo, “Puro mahirap.” Hindi puro mahirap. Ang daming mayaman. Naku, sikreto lang, hindi niyo alam.

Marami nga diyan, sira na ang ulo. Nakatago doon sa isang basement sa Makati eh. Hindi na mare-rehab ‘yun. Wala nang pag-asa sa buhay ‘yun, sira na ang ulo nun.

Pero kargado doon sa rehabilitation. Paano mo mare-rehab ‘yun? Sira na ang ulo. Pang ibang institution na ‘yon.

Rocky Ignacio (PTV-4): Pero, sir, how confident are you na ma-a-achieve ‘yung sinabi mong “drug-free Philippines” since sa community-based ‘yung pinu-push niyo, eh karamihan sa mga involved sa illegal drugs ‘yung mga barangay captains?


Ms. Ignacio: Local leaders.

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO:  Kaya kailangan dito siga-siga ang DILG Secretary. Pero kung ang DILG Secretary mo ayaw nang may kagalit, may problema tayo diyan.

Kailangan dito  — talagang dapat may bigyan, empowered ‘yung DILG Secretary na he can really discipline the barangay chairman.

Sa amin sa Navotas, walang magawa ‘yung mayor sa isang barangay captain eh. Ang dinadasal ko lang mamatay eh. Ma-heart attack, mataba eh.

Minsan ‘yun lang pag-asa mo, magdasal ka. Ang masamang magdasal, mamatay, pero minsan kung ‘yun nalang ang solution, sana mamatay nalang. Wala akong magawa eh, minumura ko na eh.  Publicly, I’ve been renouncing him. Sabi, “Ba’t buhay ka pa?”

Ms. Ignacio: Pero, sir, confident ka ba na ma-a-achieve parin ‘yan within ilang taon, 5 years, 6 years?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Achievable ‘yan. As a matter of fact, nagtaas ng kamay si Presidente, sabi ko, ah hindi, for the first time kokontrahin ko siya, kaya.

Pero kaya lang may big “if”. Para lang… Para lang traffic ni Danny Lim ‘yan eh. Miski ipalo ni Danny Lim ‘yung ulo niya eh hindi ma — ayaw magpa-disiplina ang tao eh. Discipline is individual na ‘yan eh. ‘Di ba ang disicipline, how is it defined? “To do what is right even without supervision.”

Eh dito ‘pag hindi —  sinu-supervise mo, ang tigas pa ng ulo eh. So ang makaka-solve nito, hindi si Presidente, ‘yung Pilipino mismo, tayo-tayo. Kawawa ang Presidente dito, nasisisi doon sa isang bagay na pamilya…

We have to go back to the family and the barangay. ‘Yan ang key. ‘Pag ang pamilya walang kwenta, may problema tayo.

Maricel Halili (TV-5): Hi, sir, good morning.  Sir, just a quick follow-up on the cases of minors. Sabi niyo, sir, kanina, may mga ilang cases na mukhang wala nang pag-asa, so how do you plan to deal with it, sir?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi. Hindi ko naman — hindi naman totally eh. Siguro ako, gumive-up (give up) nalang ako dun sa apo ko. Inaantay kong bumalik siya, magbalik-loob.

Dahil kasi pati — parang drug rehab eh. Alam niyo, ‘yung drug rehab, ipasok niyo nang ipasok. Ang pinaka-effective na drug rehab is pagka volunteer ‘yung nagpaparehab.

‘Yung napipilitan, may problema ‘yan. Ngayon, we are reviewing the Juvenile Justice Law. Eh ‘di, tingnan natin kung pupwede. Hindi naman — baka ‘yung aking sina-cite na example is a case na hindi general, parang special case siguro.

Pero we would like to deal with the whole juvenile community ‘no. Titingnan natin ‘yung batas.  Ang trabaho namin sa DDB ngayon is unang-una, nung mag-usap- usap kami, my first [what do you call this?] board meeting, unang-una, pinapa review ko ‘yung batas. Mahirap mag- implement kami. Sabi ko, law enforcement. Department of Health, pag-aralan ‘yung mandate dahil mahirap ‘yung nag-ku-kuwan tayo.

Hindi ko rin kabisado totally ‘yung Republic Act 9165, pero meron akong manual. Pagka hindi ko kaya, nagtatanong ako. That’s why we have the legal expert, the people sa preventive education at tsaka ‘yung ibang members ano.

But I want everybody to study the law because it’s very difficult to implement something when you don’t — when you yourself do not understand it. Kaya nagkakaroon ng miscue ‘no. So pati dito, ‘yung juvenile law natin pag-aaralan natin and… Collegial body kasi ang kuwan eh — collegial body ang DDB. Hindi isang tao lang ang nagde-decide diyan.

And sabi ko nga even media, masyadong well-informed ang media. ‘Yung minsan ‘yung inyong ideas will be very, very kuwan eh — very good inputs. You can provide very good inputs because you have more access to the people, ano, on a day-to-day basis.

Ms. Halili: Sir, does it mean that you are now considering amending the Juvenile Delinquency Law? Meaning implementing stiffer penalties to minors?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Actually, marami nga akong sinasabi eh. I wanted to be… Dapat ako ang PDEA eh pero… [laughter]

Hindi, dapat ako ang PDEA. Kaya lang kumandidato ako eh. Kaya lang — Kaya pala ako natalo akala nila bodyguard ako ni Presidente, hindi kandidato eh ‘no.

So pinag-aaralan namin ‘yan and meron kaming — member namin ng Department of Justice. So pag-uusapan namin ‘yung sa board kung ano ang tamang gawin dito and ‘yung inputs will be… As a matter of fact, merong mga tinatawag diyan na mga kuwan, ‘di ba? Public hearing.

Ang problema, ang public hearing natin bihira ang uma-attend nito eh. Kaya minsan ang public hearing natin is becoming parang drama nalang. May public hearing, pero actually wala.

So siguro this is one time that I will encourage the community, pagka may public hearing, umattend (attend) kayo para makapag-input kayo, para ‘yung ilalabas nating mga batas talagang comprehensive ang input, hindi ‘yung minamanage (manage) lang ng isang grupo and it becomes a law na ‘yung input ng general public is not there.

Ito, ang karugtong dito, ‘yung aming kuwan is not necessarily to impose punishments. Maraming system tayong pwedeng kopyahin.

We are overcrowding our prisons eh. Dahil minsan isang gramo lang eh, kulong ka. Minsan isang gramo, kasama mo ‘yung mga [inaudible]. Ang prison system pa naman…

We have to decongest our prison and we can do it by — kailangan very effective ang ating local governments, ‘yung ating DSWD. Mahirap ‘yung pupunta ka doon, papaliguan ka, uwi ka nanaman. Walang nangyari sa buhay mo.

Hannah Sancho (SMNI): Good morning, Secretary.


Ms. Sancho: Sir, mula nung nagsimula ang administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, mas dumami po ‘yung mga naka- confine sa mga rehabilitation centers. Isa po sa mga isinusulong ng mga head ng rehab centers ‘yung mga cases po ng patients na paulit-ulit po sila, pabalik-balik po sa mga rehab centers. Magkakaroon po ba tayo ng policy like for ‘yung mga users na paulit-ulit nalang po, na hindi naman po nababago ‘yung buhay nila sa tingin po nung mga namumuno ng mga rehab centers, nasasayang lang daw ‘yung pondo ng bayan dahil hindi naman daw nagiging effective sa kanila ‘yung rehabilitation po?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: As a matter of fact, ‘yan ang unang guideline ko. Pag-aaralan natin ‘yan and if we have to close some rehab facilities, we will close them. Kasi ang taas ng relapse rate eh. At 40 percent hindi kuwan ito, hindi magandang figures ‘to. Hindi pa total ‘yan. Hindi pa namin nako-cover lahat.

Eh ‘yung iba diyan eh parang hanapbuhay na lang talaga ang rehab eh. Marami rehab dito, puro mayaman ang naka-confine. Paulit-ulit. Tama ‘yung sinasabi mo, paulit-ulit. We want to do — itong si Colonel [Tupas?]. Galing sa private sector ‘to. We want to do benchmarking. Ibe-benchmark namin.

After so many kuwan, andun na dapat ang accomplishment mo diyan sa drug addict na ‘yan. Pero ang problema mo, ‘yung nagre-relapse kasi, bumabalik ‘yan.

Again, babalik tayo dun sa poverty issue. ‘Yung tokhang nga bumabalik, napapatay eh dahil kasi wala silang other — there are no option. Wala silang hanapbuhay. Ang alam nila, merong mga moments naman na sober ‘yang mga drug addict.

Gusto naming i-incorporate ‘yung livelihood program while inside the rehabilitation facilities. Para productive sila at they are earning income.

At marami akong personal experiences again. ‘Pag hindi niyo na-solve ang psychological problem, what is the root cause of the problem, hindi mo maso-solve ‘yan eh.

Dahil kasi ‘yung root cause ng problem hindi mo na-address eh, may psychological, minsan within the family. Ikukuwento ko nanaman, doon sa pamilya namin ako ‘yung pinaka-naughty-naughty.

Lahat ng kasalanan ng buong pamilya sa akin. Pagka may kasalanan, mga kapatid ko, akala nila mabait. Sila na pala — akin pa rin ‘yun. Kaya lang ang naging effect sakin is the other way around. Sa halip na maging aggressive ako, nagkaroon ako ng inferiority complex.

Ngayon, pinilit kong ma-kuwan, na-reform naman ako. Ngayon, bumilib na ang nanay ko sa akin, sumalangit nawa. Bago siya namatay, bumilib na siya sa akin.

Pero ‘yung nakikita ko, na-e-encounter, madaling magpasok sa rehab facilities. Pero ang problema ko, hindi mo naso-solve ‘yung psychological problem, you will not solve the problem. Babalik- balik lang ‘yan.

So ang suggestion namin, palakasin mo ‘yung mga psychiatrist, psychologist within the system ‘no.

Ms. Sancho: Sir, clarify ko lang, sir. Is it possible na gumawa — mag-craft ng policy ang DDB na i-limit lang ‘yung number nang paulit-ulit, ‘yung pagbalik nung mga nire-rehab sa mga public rehabilitation centers? Let’s say hanggang 3 times lang ‘pag hindi ka — ‘pag bumalik ka more than 3 times, sa private ka na magpa-rehab? Kasi, sir, ang sinasabi ng mga rehab centers ng government, masyado nang malaki, masyado na silang marami, hindi na nila kayang i-ano lahat.

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi, ang problema mo diyan eh ‘yan ang trabaho ng gobyerno eh.

Again, another example. ‘Yung mga kuwan natin, mga drug courier natin, they know na dinadala na. Sino rito? Ang Pilipino, matipid tayo eh.

‘Pag magpapadala sayo, gusto mo magkagasta pa ang tagabuhat mo eh. Eh itong mga drug couriers natin binabayaran 3,000 dollars para dalhin. Doon pa lang, may questionable na. Dapat nagtataka ka na na bakit siya babayaran?

So ‘yan ang papel ng gobyerno. Tapos may kasalanan. Pupunta pa ang gobyerno, masisi pa pagka walang intervention sa death row.

‘Yan ang papel ng gobyerno, mag-absorb ng shock eh. Kung pipigilin natin ‘yan pagpasok sa rehab, eh ‘di masisisi nanaman gobyerno. Magsawa ka diyan.

Dalin natin… Kung ayaw niya sa private, mahal sa private, naka-ready naman ‘yung government rehab facilities, and by law, merong supposed to be per region. Merong per region. Hindi pa natin nagagawa. ‘Yan ang effort ngayon namin para ‘yung pera gastahin sa pagse-set up ng rehab.

Pagkatapos, we are more on community-based. ‘Yan ang tinatrabaho namin dahil ‘yung support system is within the community. Para hindi ka na lalayo, para ‘yung pamilya mo dumadalaw.

At sa rehab, ang isang problema diyan alam niyo ang nagiging bisyo ng nagrerehab, ang requirement diyan family support eh. Eh matatanda na. Bandang huli, obligasyon ng pamilya na matanda na sinusuportahan pa.

Magtanong kayo sa mga kaibigan niyo na may asawa na naging problema ‘yung asawa paglabas sa rehab. Parang obligasyon ngayon ng asawa na lalaki ha, obligasyon ng asawa na babae na mag-hanapbuhay, suportahan ‘yung lalaki.

So marami kang  — marami factors that you have to consider when you talk about rehab. But ang sabi ko nga, ang gobyerno — that is the role of government to absorb kung ano man ang problema na hindi kaya ng ibang sector. Sasaluhin namin ‘yan, mandatory function namin ‘yan eh. That’s why we — ang tawag sa amin government service eh.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Good morning, sir. Sir, tukoy po ba natin kung pang ilan po ang Metro Manila pagdating po sa may pinakamatindi ang illegal drug operations? Number one po ba ang Metro Manila?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Oo naman. Sa population pa lang eh number one na. Ano ang population ng Metro Manila? Gaano kalaki ang marginalized community natin? Doon pa lang, from there, sa population based pa lang, makikita mo highly urbanized, ang size eh malaki, so automatic ang marginalized community malaki. Doon pinakamalaki makukuha mong drug problem.

Ms. Coz: Sir, tukoy din po ba natin kung saan nanggagaling ang supply ng droga dito po sa Metro Manila at sino ang drug lord?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO:  In a way, alam mo ‘yung minsan ang problema, kagaya nung Thailand, alam nila ang source, ipapasa sa atin. Kaya huli ko sa PDEA, sabi ko, “Bakit niyo ginagawa sa amin ‘yan? Alam niyong kayo ang source niyan, nandiyan pa pa…” Ba’t palalabasin niyo, ikukuwento niyo sa amin? Kami pa ang manghuhuli sa Pilipinas. Kaya ang labas natin tayo ang pinakasalbahe sa area eh.

Eh medyo kinuwestyon ko ‘yan, pero napalitan na ako. So hindi ko na ma-pursue ‘yan. But now that I’m back, ibabalik ko ‘yung question na ‘yan.

Control delivery is a different story. Talagang gusto mong mahuli kung sino ‘yung contact ng source saka contact dito na — sa receiving end. So ibang istorya ‘yan. But if it is ordinary smuggling of drugs, eh may problema tayo diyan.

And of course, ‘yung sinasabi mo, malalim ‘tong problema na ‘to pero if you know how to hit it — meron silang contact dito. If you know who, may contact sila and…

Ms. Coz: Pwede po ba nating sabihin kung sino ‘yung drug lord sa Metro Manila? Kasi in line po diyan —

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Bakit ako? PDEA tanungin niyo.

Ms. Coz: Pero, sir, in line — 

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Baka dumaldal na naman ako, puro libel cases ang naka- abang sa akin eh. Kayo naman.

Ms. Coz: In line lang po diyan, medyo po kasi interesting lang dahil po sa narco-list ng Pangulo, walang involved na mayor. Bagamat kanina, nabanggit niyo po na ang illegal drug operation is politically- motivated. Pero sa narco-list ng Pangulo, walang involved na mayor, pero ang mas nakakarami is barangay captains. Mga kongresista wala ring nabanggit, so bakit po ganun?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi ko alam, hindi ko nakita ‘yung list eh. I have not seen the updated list.

Ms. Coz: Pero, sir, ano ‘yung pinakamataas o high ranking government official sa Metro Manila na involved sa drug operations? Kasi…

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Metro Manila? Ano bang mga political kuwan ng mga nasa Metro Manila? Doon na kayo maghanap. Ano ang pinakamataas na government official sa Metro Manila?

Ms. Coz: Ano po, sir?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Eh ano ba ang mga nasa Metro Manila? Kayo na sumagot.

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Sir, gusto ko lang pong mag-follow up dun sa tanong ni Ate Rocky kanina. You said that it is achievable to solve the drug problem within the Duterte administration. Sabi po ni Presidente medyo complicated at hindi daw po kaya. Pero with the way that the drug war is going right now, sir, ilang taon pa po kaya ang hihintayin natin?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Mahirap maggawa ng estimate, mahirap maggawa ng estimate. But ‘yung aming systems and procedure is intended to help… Hindi mo naman magiging totally drug free eh.

Siguro kung ma-stop natin at current level accomplishment na ‘yun. And that is achievable through itong mga measures nga ng preventive namin na hindi na namin papayagan na lumaki pa ‘yan.

Tutulong tayo, and of course, ‘yung anti-poverty po natin na kailangan ma-enhance ano.

And of course, siguro baka sabihin niyo tao lang ako ni Presidente, but the point there ‘yung mga sinsabi niya, ‘yung mga TRO, mga human rights cases, hindi namin sinasabing mali sila. Pero kung lahat ng issue pati ‘yung return of Marcos wealth, hindi ko alam kung anong deadline niyan. Pero kung ako ‘yan, kukunin ko na kaagad ‘yung pera eh, saka na natin pag-usapan ‘yung balance.

Ibig sabihin nandiyan na available ‘yung solution, pabayaan niyo munang tumakbo ‘yung solution, ‘wag niyong stop-in (stop), hindi maka-move ‘yung solution eh.

Modernization ng Armed Forces alam niyo noong ako’y tenyente, 100 ang helicopters namin eh. Noong ako ay chief of staff, walo lang ang lumilipad eh. Well, imagine that is because of TRO kaya galit na galit si Presidente sa TRO eh.

Tapos ‘yung — we go for the cheapest. You pay for quality, you pay for quality. Hindi pwedeng lahat mura. Pagka mura ang kinuha mo, magmumura ka.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, may… Also, sir, merong… Based on your data, sir, has the drug war been effective in discouraging the use of illegal drugs among Filipinos?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Iba-ibang point of view. Pero sabi nga namin kung titingnan mo, ‘yung balancer na kami, ngayon, I used to be the right hand effort eh. Right hand and left hand ang military tawag namin sa counter-insurgency.

‘Yung kuwan is the punch, law enforcer. Ang left hand effort is ‘yung mga civic action, livelihood program for the insurgents. Dito rin ‘yan eh. Ang problema nga hindi niyo kami naha-highlight.

Hindi kami — hindi sa hindi kami interesting but there is a more exciting side to media eh, which is law enforcement.

Pero kami, sabi ko nga, we feel that we have been effective, slowly nagge-gain grounds kami and we are getting more advocates from all sectors.

So from there, although we are not highlighted, we keep on moving and eventually, ‘yung mga program namin, I’m very sure will catch your attention, and eventually it will be highlighted and mapapakita na balance ‘yung anti-drug campaign and may positive effect.

Ms. Gutierrez: But can we say, sir, na mas marami ng Pilipino ‘yung nadi-discourage o natatakot nang gumamit ng shabu or ng marijuana and other drugs because of the drug war?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Mabuti ngang matakot, eh ‘di manahimik ka natatakot ka pala eh, huwag kang tumuloy. Huwag kang tumuloy.

‘Yung fear factor na ‘yun gagamitin mo to be positive. Mag-move ka ngayon para tulungan mo ‘yung mga natatakot para huwag nang bumalik ‘di ba?

Maganda ‘yung fear factor eh. Of course, always the best is respect for human dignity and human life. Pero ngayon natatakot sila marami na, pati mga government officials.

May kinausap na. Nakipag-usap sa’kin, sabi ko, “Eh mayaman ka na eh. Kung nag-illegal ka, ang objective namin is drug free Philippines, eh ‘di makonsensya ka na. Mayaman ka na eh, mag-legal ka na, tutal hindi ka namin madale dahil malakas ka eh. Marami kang… Nakakabili ka ng mga testigo, nai-stop mo ‘yung mga witnesses. Eh ‘di mag-convert ka na sa more productive undertaking. Hindi ka na namin makulong eh.” Although alam namin siya ‘yun, pero walang mag-witness eh.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sino ‘yan, sir?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Ah madami. Maraming nagre-report sa akin. Maraming nag-e-explain. Pero ang masasabi ko, kung matino ka na eh ‘di ‘buti naman. Hindi ba?

Alexis Romero (Philippine Star): General, you’ve been dealing with illegal drugs for so long. What are your thoughts about allegations that some policemen are executing drug suspects including minors and how can it be solved if ever there is such a problem?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi, ‘yun na nga mag-deny ka dito eh ‘di para mong niloko sarili mo. May mga pilyong pulis talaga eh.

And one good step was the pronouncement of the President doon sa case ni Kian.

Nilinaw niya, nalinawan ng isip ‘yung mga pulis, akala nila they were given by the President the license to kill. And the President made it very clear that you are given the license to kill if you are using reasonable force at tsaka if you are endangered.

Pero hindi ‘yung mga parang — hindi mo malaman, masyadong obvious naman eh. Sabi ni Presidente nga, ipinakulong niya ‘di ba? At in effect ‘yun ang sinabi niya, “Stop it. Kukulungin ko kayo kung illegal ‘yung act niyo.”

Because the President is a very legalistic person. Ang sabi lang niya gagawin ko, ima-martial law ko kayo pero noong gawin niya ‘yan it is with the concurrence of Congress.

He is a very legalistic person. So he made it very clear sa pulis and the police is acting very swiftly to police their ranks also. But ang move diyan, ang best is, you start sa recruitment pa lang.

Kung sa recruitment pa lang, you recruit a wrong person, eh wala ka nang magagawa diyan pagkatapos ng training mo… Make it a very serious, sabi ko nga, medyo minsan kontrabida ako, siguro madalas, hindi minsan.

Sinasabi ko, “Eh bakit magre-recruit ka nang maraming pulis? Linisin mo muna ‘yung current rank mo. Baka nagdadagdag ka lang ng problema.”

Pwede mong — improve the quality let’s not go for quantity. Eh marami ka ngang pulis, sakit naman ng ulo. So sa recruitment pa lang ayusin mo ‘yan.

And I think it’s being done by the police. May efforts sila kaya lang natatabunan nung mga killings that ang conclusion is the handiwork of the police.

Marami na tayong nakita na hindi naman pulis ang may kagagawan eh. Alam niyo, ‘yung syndicate kaniya-kaniyang naglalaban na — sa sine nga, “Iyo ang Tondo, akin ang Quiapo.” Pagka pumasok ka ng teritoryo ko papatayin kita. Ganun ka-simple ‘yun. 

Mr. Morong: Sir, rephrasing Pia’s question. What is the effect of the drug war on the drug industry in the Philippines?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: ‘Yung drug war, siyempre… Minsan merong may isang media nagtanong sa akin, “Ano ang epekto nung pagkamatay ni Parojinog kung mayor ka ng Misamis?”

Ang tinanong ko, ibinalik ko, “Anong epekto sa’yo nun kung mayor ka nasa droga ka? Magmamalaki ka pa ba nasa droga ka o tatahimik ka?”

‘Yung drug war is — alam niyo from… Ang problema natin dito ‘yung popularity ng President, kung titignan niyo is based on the sentiment of the Filipino people.

The people is fed up. And, of course, ang — the drug war, pagka tahimik ang iyong — ang peace and order mo is good, tapos you establish a very good security system, halimbawa, ‘yung military, peace and order and security, you know, automatic that will encourage investors eh.

Kaya lang merong negative ‘yan for the meantime, pero marami ‘yung negosyante ayaw mag-invest. Pero sabi ko sa kanila, gaya nung Marawi incident ano. Sabi niya, “’Yung Marawi? “Bakit ‘yang bang Marawi forever?”

Sabi ko, “‘Pag nag-invest kayo, tapos na ang Marawi, baka ‘yung gagastusin niyo ngayon magdodoble na, magdodoble na.” So may negative effect pero may positive ‘yan.

Mr. Morong: Sir, you mentioned kanina may price ka 3 million a kilo tapos nag-go up ng 15 million a kilo, and then the last figure you have is 5 million. So right now, how much is a — the shabu for procurement?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Ang alam ko ang average kuwan yata ay 5 million ano. Five million, that’s still low. Ang gusto ko diyan umabot ng 10 million ulit. Ibig sabihin, supply is scarce na.

But ang problema mo — bibigyan ko kayo ng problema. Tignan niyo, ilan ‘yung nakawala na droga? Ilang tonelada? Hindi mo kailangang magpasok eh, ang hulihan natin one gram, 10 grams, one kilo.

Tonelada ‘yung pumasok na nakakalat, waiting to be utilized. Paano mo uubusin ‘yung tone-tonelada na nakakalat na nasa loob na, na hindi mo malaman kung saan nakatago?

Imaginin (imagine) niyo, paano mo uubusin ‘yung sa isang gramo, per gram? One kilo is 1,000 grams. Ang konsumo ng isa eh, lalo nung nagkamurahan, noong 3 million — 3,000 per gram.

Eh minsan sharing lang eh, kaya nauso pa ang tawas eh. ‘Yung one kilo mo, 1,000 person per gram ‘yan — ah per kilo. One thousand individuals, eh isang tonelada ang nakawala, ilang tonelada ang nakakawala?

Ang hirap ng trabaho ng law enforcement. Ang trabaho ngayon, tumulong ‘yung public, meron indicators ‘yan.

Mr. Morong: Sir, ‘yun pong 5 million, ‘yun po ba ay, from your policy standpoint, mura ba ‘yan—?


Mr. Morong: So bakit po, sir, mura, maraming — marami pa ring source?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Eh marami pa ngang supply eh. Sabi ko nga, kung nakapasok na ‘yung tonelada, meron pang available sa market eh. Not necessarily kaya — kaya maraming huli ngayon, maraming kumakalat eh.

‘Yang dami nang hinuhuli ngayon dahil mas efficient ang law enforcement ngayon. Kaya dumami ang operations, dumadami ang kuwan.

And sabi ko nga, how will you stop ‘yung proliferation ‘yung panahon pa nung dati pati ngayon pumapasok na tone-tonelada nandiyan naka-stock somewhere.

Mr. Morong: Anyway. Sir, ‘yun pong kanina, you said that drug war is not anti-poor. Because?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi, hindi anti-poor ‘yun. Kaya lang naging anti-poor ‘yun ang lumalabas — ‘yan ang marginalized community eh. ‘Yan ang tatamaan mo, ‘yan ang nagpu-push eh — the marginalized community.

Ikaw, kung well kuwan ka, you will just be a user. Kung ikaw may kaya ka, user-user ka lang, hindi ka magpu-push. Exceptional ‘yung mayayaman na magpu-push dahil hindi naman ‘yan ang main source of livelihood niyo eh.

Siguro magfi-finance. Ang malungkot dito, ‘yung mga nagfi-finance ngayon, ang pananaw nila ngayon is utak nang walang konsensya. Ang drug is taken just as a plain business activity.

Mataas ang ROI, return on investment. Eh ba’t ako magi-invest sa bangko? Mag-deposito ka one percent ang interest per annum. Eh dito isang suwerte mo eh, kikita ka ng 10 million.

Biro mo ang return ng pera mo, magkano lang ‘yan? Konting klaseng substances lang ‘yan eh — substances na mura lang ‘yan eh. O pagkatapos pagka pinagkakitaan mo sampung kilo sa sampung milyon noong araw, o ilang kuwan? Eh 100 million ‘yan ‘di ba?

Mr. Uri: Quick question kay General. Ano ang kwento sa likod ng Iloilo, most shabulized city at talaga bang kumpirmadong sabit sa droga si Mayor Jed Mabilog?

CHAIRPERSON SANTIAGO: Hindi ko alam pero bibigyan ko kayo ng sarili kong analysis sa Iloilo. Bigyan ko kayo ng analysis.

Alam niyo noong ako ay PDEA — hindi na ako, hindi na ako ang PDEA, balikan natin si Leviste… Leviste ‘di ba nahulihan siya ng baril? Remember nahulihan siya ng baril sa Bilibid?

Sinong may-ari nung baril? Very kuwan ‘to ha, specific names ang sasabihin ko dahil na-dyaryo naman ‘to, sir, eh. O sinong nahuli? Ang baril ni Leviste saan nanggaling? Kay Nava.

Nava is from Guimaras, Region 6. Noong hanapin kay Nava ang baril, nasaan ang baril? Nandoon sa isang dealer ng baril na taga-Capiz. Kaya ko kilala ‘yung taga-Capiz na ‘yun, sa kanya ako bumili ng baril ng PDEA, ‘yung M4, ‘no, ‘yung M4.

Ngayon, Capiz is Region 6. Pagkatapos, sino si Peter Co? He used to be a drug lord, nasa Billibid. Sino ang tao ni kuwan, I forgot the name but the lady is from Region 6, I think taga-Bacolod. Naka-base siya diyan sa — I’ll have to check again, ‘yung pangalan. Nandiyan mayaman ‘yan nandiyan sa Wack-Wack. Alam niyo ‘yung Wack-Wack. Taga riyan.

Ngayon si Peter Co ibinalibag ko sa kuwan ‘yan, ibinalibag ko… Peter Co ha remember Peter — hindi Peter Lim ha.

Peter Co ibinalibag ko doon sa kuwan. My advantage when I was Bureau of Corrections director, I was given semi-autonomy by then Secretary, kuwan, sir, Datumanong. He was my boss when I was a lieutenant in Buldon, North Cotabato kami.

I was given autonomy then. I can transfer people from one facility to the other. Inilipat ko si Peter Co sa Abuyog, Leyte which is a facility na mahirap abutin. Nagkaroon ng intervention ‘yan, may lumapit sa akin ‘yung isang kaibigan ko na taga- Dumaguete the other guy na lumapit sa akin is a mayor from Negros Oriental.

So these people Dumaguete ngayon na lang ibinalik yata siya ng Region 6 ano? Pero NIR ‘yan, Negros Island Region na ‘yan. Pero kung titingnan ninyo si Peter Co is well entrenched and well connected sa Region 6.

And where is Iloilo? It’s in Region 6. So sabi — kaya I agree with the President — Odicta, Prevendido target ko ‘yan. Odicta target ko ‘yan.

Kaya nung tanungin ako, “Anong mase-say mo kay Prevendido?” “Good riddance.” Good riddance sa akin. At least eh ewan ko kung sinong pumatay sa kanya basta good riddance. He cannot operate anymore in that area. Meron pang natitira diyan. And I hope they will be good riddance also.

Thank you very much. Thank you very much, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Thank you for a very substantial report. Just to wind up. A bit of…

DFA gives back passport appointment slots to the public:

With this in mind, more appointment slots for passport applications are now available to the public. 1,200 slots reserved daily for travel agencies were removed and converted into additional slots for regular applicants.

The policy was put in place August 1st of  2017.
According to Ricarte Abejuela III, Acting Director of the Passport Division of the Office of Consular Affairs, with the DFA’s new policy, clients of travel agencies should undergo the same process all other applicants undergo when applying for or renewing a passport.

PRRD assures MILF and the Moro people that BBL is an executive priority bill:

PRRD met with the leadership of MILF yesterday to discuss among others their concern about social media posts critical of their handling and the progress of the BBL bill.

The President assured them that he considers this high priority and vital to the future of Mindanao and the nation.

He is asking to meet with the Senate President and Speaker of the House to facilitate the process.

The President also thanked the MILF for its strong support in the fight against violent extremists in Mindanao. He cited the humanitarian efforts to save civilian lives in Marawi and the continuing operations of the MILF against armed groups and enemies of the state throughout Mindanao.

On Carl Angelo Arnaiz:

We assured the public that there will be no whitewash and that there will be a thorough and impartial investigation and those who will be found responsible, would be made accountable before our laws.

Regarding… As stated yesterday, items for the Cabinet meeting were a briefing on the bird flu outbreak, macroeconomic performance during the second quarter of 2017, the status of legal assistance to OFWs, harmonize national research and development agenda, and the update on the management of Philippine Rise.

I’m open for a few questions.

Leila Salaverria: (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir.


Ms. Salaverria: Sir, the Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of Mr. Nur Misuari for DepEd anomaly? Sir, earlier the government asked a Pasig court to defer his arrest because he’ll be participating in the peace talks. So how will the Sandiganbayan order affect his role in the peace talks?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Apparently the item is an administrative case or something that was taken up before these talks.

And the onus will be, at this point, according to sources, the onus at this point will have to be with Mr. Misuari. The onus of defending himself would be with Mr. Misuari.

Ms. Salaverria: But, sir, do you see this having any effect on his participation in the peace talks?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t know. I cannot categorically say it will not have any effect. But at this stage, it would be best if he address the matter directly himself.

Ms. Sancho: Hi, sir, may details po doon sa meeting ni President Duterte sa mga officials ng MILF and BTC last night po?


Ms. Sancho: Ay sorry, sir, na-discuss po ba ‘yung — sorry ha. Iyong regarding sa BBL po, na-raise po doon sa discussion nila ‘yung problem nila na wala pong congressman na nag-sponsor sa BBL?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The President assured that it is a top priority and that he would actually — he’s asking to meet with…

Let me just repeat, he’s asking to meet with the Senate President and Speaker of the House to facilitate the process.

Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Usec, magandang tanghali. Sir, nasaan na po ang, ano na po ang status ngayon ng operations ng pamahalaan sa Marawi City?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Let me see. As far as… Regar… As of this moment, all I can give you are the actual facts, the statistics that is usually given and also the financial situation of the status of cash donations which I can give you.

At this point the Marawi, cash donations for Marawi AFP casualties, the balance remains at 33, 076, 053 — 4, 340,000 was remitted to the Philippine Army and Philippine Navy as cash benefits for the families of who is killed in action.

Regarding that, there are no timelines I could provide you. Except that, as far as we know, General Año said that he was hopeful that things would be brighter by his retirement.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, may ano na ba — may  confirmation ng nakarating sa Palasyo bagamat binabanggit na ng militar na kasama doon sa mga napatay si Abdullah Maute?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Ano po ang kinakailangan lang talaga ‘yung verification of the body.

Although, they have already intercepted messages. But we cannot categorically say 100 percent unless we — unless they find or locate his remains once and for all to ascertain without a doubt his demise.

Mr. Ganibe: Sec, masasabi naman natin sa ngayon ano na the government is winning dito sa Marawi?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I would say that the government is progressing very substantially.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, so far wala tayong balita kay Hapilon? Na siyang naging unang target na makuha kaya pumutok ‘yung — ?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: As of this stage, wala rin pong formal ano.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, anong masasabi niyo doon sa mga binabanggit ng mga kritiko na kino-compare ‘yung sinasa — ‘yung binabatikos na maraming parang naging pabaya ‘yung nakaraang Pangulo doon sa Mamasapano incident pero nakuha naman ‘yung pinaka-target which is si Marwan? Ngayon, nakatutok ang Pangulo sa mga nangyayari sa Marawi pero parang hindi nakukuha kung sino ‘yung target?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The circumstances are different. As you very well know, the President and the military itself has stressed again and again that while the progress is constant it is also very careful that, you know, there are many hostages — a number of hostages that they need to be very careful of, that’s exactly why they don’t just rush or fools rush in.

Prince Golez (Panay News): Sir, good morning, sir. Sir, may we just know who is feeding the President with erroneous information about Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog? Last Sunday Duterte said that Mabilog “escape to Japan and living luxuriously there”. But his spokesperson, Attorney Piad said that Mabilog went to Japan to attend a conference on Disaster Management. In several speeches, Mabilog or President Duterte also mentioned that Mabilog as a relative of Odicta which the City Mayor continuously denies. So who is responsible for this information being fed to the President, sir?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I cannot specifically say who is responsible for that. But we do know that the President has his own sources of information and he has his own understanding of the situation.

Mr. Golez: Sir, is the President still inclined to meet and speak with Mabilog amid his order to conduct lifestyle checks on him, sir?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The last time I checked, he was not open to conversation with Mabilog.

Mr. Golez: Thank you, sir.