Press Briefing

Real Numbers Press Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron N. Aquino; and Philippine National Police Spokesperson Bernard Banac; and PDEA Spokesperson, Director Derrick Carreon

Event Real Numbers Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

ASEC. RAFAEL: [Recording starts]… anti-illegal drugs updates. Joining us this morning is none other than the only Chair of the ICAD Director General Aquino and PNP Spokesperson General Bernard Banac, and PDEA Spokesperson Director Derrick Carreon. Magandang umaga po.

DIR. CARREON: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. On behalf of our Director General and the Chairman of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, we would like to present the updated social cards for Real Numbers PH from July 1, 2016 to November 30, 2019.

A total of 151,601 anti-drug operations were conducted by the PDEA, the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies nationwide which resulted in the arrest of 220,728 drug personalities and 5,552 drug personalities were recorded casualties on the same period.

For dismantled clandestine laboratories and drug dens in pursuit of the government’s efforts to destroy the sources of illegal drugs: PDEA and other law enforcement agencies had dismantled a total of 14 illegal drug manufacturing labs or drug laboratories/drug dens which served as one-stop shop for sellers and buyers of illegal drugs were also targeted by law enforcement agencies. As a result during the period, 419 drug dens nationwide were dismantled by law enforcement authorities. A total of 40.39 billion pesos worth of illegal drugs were seized for the period. And for the same period, 5,182.52 kilograms of shabu worth 31.25 billion pesos were seized by PDEA and other law enforcement agencies nationwide.

For one of the flagship programs of the ICAD and the anti-drug campaign in the barangay drug clearing program, as of November 30, 2019: 16,706 barangays were cleared; while 17,175 barangays are yet to be cleared.

We turn you over to the Philippine National Police for the remaining social cards. Sir…

PNP SPOKESPERSON BANAC: In line with the President’s thrust of cleansing the bureaucracy from corrupt public servants, law enforcement operations were launched against high value targets. A total of 726 government workers including 347 government employees, 297 elected officials and 82 uniformed personnel were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165.

On minors involved in illegal drugs activities – since President Duterte’s administration: a total of 2,799 minors involved in illegal drug activities were rescued during anti-drug operations conducted by authorities nationwide. These children were turned over to the local social welfare offices.

On high value targets: a total of 8,185 high value targets were arrested for the period composed of 222 foreign nationals, 297 elected officials, 82 uniformed personnel, 347 government employees, 725 drug group leaders or members, 2,290 target listed personalities, 57 armed group members, 813 drug den maintenors, 191 wanted listed personalities, 10 celebrities or prominent personalities and 3,151 personalities arrested from this high-impact operations.

On surrenderers for the reformation program: a total of 485,295 surrenderers have benefitted from the Recovery and Wellness Program initiated by the PNP and other supportive community reformation centers including Bahay Silangan Reformation Centers with 965 beneficiaries. So all these are the accomplishments for the period 2016 to 2019.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, good morning. Kay DG Aquino. Sir, ano na po ‘yung update doon sa involvement ng matataas na opisyal ng PDEA doon sa paglusot ng 6.4 billion shabu po sa Bureau of Customs? Sila Fajardo po… ano po ‘yung update sa kaso nila?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Well, nalabasan naman sila ng warrant of arrest at this time and we have coordinated with the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies for their arrest. And so far, wala pa naman updates with regards to their whereabouts, but information na we are receiving that they are going out of the country by backdoor. So, we are also coordinating with our Armed Forces of the Philippines to check our coastlines and other areas particularly on the south portion of the country to determine if that is true or not.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, kailan po nilabas iyong warrant of arrest?

PDEA DG AQUINO: I don’t have an exact data right now, but immediately after we filed the case, a month’s after lumabas iyong warrants noong dalawa. And hopefully in due time, maaresto iyong dalawang personality na ito.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, may ino-offer po kayong reward para sa pagkakaaresto nila?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Ah wala naman so far at this time na ino-offer ang government natin or even law enforcement agencies for a particular reward for the arrest of the two. But we all know that the PNP are… they are everywhere to determine kung saan itong dalawa na ito.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Thank you, sir. Sir, isa pa. Sir, ano po ‘yung nangyari doon sa ano—nag-appeal po ba iyong PDEA doon sa dismissal noong anak na—sa kaso noong anak ni Yu Yuk Lai, ‘yung nahuli rito sa Malacañang Complex. Nakapag-appeal po ba kayo, kasi ‘di ba na-dismiss ng court iyong kaso niya?

PDEA DG AQUINO: There are high profile cases na na-file ng PDEA that are being dismissed and we are looking into that; I’ve talked with my legal team already and we are doing all efforts para mabigyan ng solusyon ito. Definitely we will appeal on this.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, hindi pa po naisampa iyong appeal?

PDEA DG AQUINO: I think my legal team have already done that.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero nandito pa po ‘yung subject? Nasa Pilipinas pa po ‘yung subject, iyong anak ni Yu Yuk Lai?

PDEA DG AQUINO: I think so, yeah.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Okay. So may—puwede ho ba iyong ano, tawag dito, i-HDO, hindi? Hold Departure Order or watch list?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Noong may kaso siya, may hold departure order definitely. But at this time, we will coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration about that.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, wala pa kayong info kung ‘andito pa siya or nakaalis na?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Sa ngayon, wala kaming information regarding that.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sir, parang natandaan ko kasi noon parang mayroon kayong statement na parang may tumawag sa inyo na isang opisyal immediately after maaresto iyong… ‘drug princess’ ang tawag sa kaniya ‘di ba? Totoo ho ba iyon na may tumawag sa inyong isang opisyal?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Ah, hindi ganoon. Ang sinabi ko noon, noong nahuli namin si Yu Yuk Lai, may isang mataas na tao ang tumawag kay Yu Yuk Lai asking some favors regarding doon sa anak niya.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Puwede ninyo pong banggitin kung sino ‘yun?

PDEA DG AQUINO: I tried to ask kung sino may-ari noong cellphone na ginamit. I was able to determine pero hindi niya inaamin na nangyari iyon eh. So hindi ko ma-pursue iyong na iyon, iyong kaso niya.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero iyong number po ng taong tumawag, number niya talaga iyon?

DG AQUINO: Hindi.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ah hindi, so puwede gumamit din siya ng iba.

DG AQUINO: That’s right, ibang number ang ginamit niya. Probably, prepaid number ang ginamit niya.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Good morning Sirs and Ma’am. Sir, ito pong binigay ninyo sa amin ay accomplishments po. So, how would you compare this with the overall target vis-à-vis the target of the administration, for example based on our intelligence information, on our target persons, narcolist – ilang percent of our total or overall target itong accomplishments natin – are we halfway, more than halfway?

DG AQUINO: Ang parameters namin is on the drug cleaning efforts on the barangay. Based doon sa presentation kanina, more than 16,700 ang cleared na na Barangay and about 17,000 plus is yet to be cleared. So, when we get a percentage, it’s about, maybe about 55% am I correct, iyong drug cleared Barangay na tayo.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: 55%.

DG AQUINO: Iyong drug cleared barangay na tayo.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Of all Barangays in the country?

DG AQUINO: Yes, so I guess we still, we are over halfway on our target para ma-cleared ang Barangay by 2022. And we are still crossing our fingers by 2022 we can accomplished to clear all Barangays of the drugs.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: And you think, sir, it’s doable to achieve 100% cleared Barangays, before the end of the President’s term?

DG AQUINO: Yes, it’s doable but the challenge is so high, because the remaining Barangays are mostly the most notorious Barangays in terms of drug affectations. So, iyon ang magiging challenge ng mga law enforcement agencies on how to clear the remaining Barangays.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: And sir, what are your concrete plans to make sure this will be achievable?

DG AQUINO: Mayroon kaming targets sa PDEA na every month, every quarter na we need to comply with. So iyong mga Barangay, regional directors ko sa mga regional level are being monitored if they are committing with their assigned targets every month.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, in a short time when VP Robredo was part of the ICAD. How was she able to contribute to these numbers na you mentioned, sir? Was there any significant increase or change in the number when she was there in ICAD?

DG AQUINO: In terms of law enforcement, I guess none. Kasi hindi naman talaga na-involved ang ating Vice President in terms of law enforcement. She did not in any way supervise our people down there in the fields. So, I guess, wala namang nabago o wala namang dapat glaring issues na makikita natin na talagang sabihin natin bumaba ba ang krimen o bumaba ba ang accomplishment natin sa illegal drugs or not.

Pero, I just like to give you some briefing on what really happened on ICAD. So, it’s started on November 6 when the President appoints our VP to be my co-chair in ICAD. And on November 7, I wrote a letter to Malacañang asking the President sa guidance. What is the actual responsibility or the scope of authority of the Vice President as my co-chair in ICAD?

Kasi, even the Vice Presidente during that time, doesn’t even know what is her obligation, in fact, sinasabi sa akin during a closed door meeting before the ICAD meeting with her, na sabi niya DG, hindi ko alam kung anong tatrabahuhin ko rito sa ICAD. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang magiging specific na function ko. So that’s the reason why I wrote. But before she said that, nakasulat na ako sa Malacañang and the Department of Justice to give me the functions kung ano ang magiging responsibility ng Vice President.

And then on November 8, that is our first mother ICAD meeting and as I have said, that is, just a listening exercise for the Vice President to hear all the four clusters who briefed her during that time and after the meeting, sinabihan ko ang Vice President natin. Sabi ko, Ma’am meet the four clusters, the law enforcement, the advocacy, the justice and the rehabilitation and reintegration clusters, because if you meet them, you will know everything about illegal drugs – somehow you will know exactly what is the total pictures of the drug situation in our country. So, sabi niya, of course, I would be happy to meet them and I would like to meet the law enforcement clusters first.

Kaya after a few days, min-meet niya iyong law enforcement cluster and doon na lumabas that prior to the meeting, she is asking for the list of high value targets. And during that time marinig ninyo naman na sinabi ko na I would be gladly too, to show her the list in a closed door meeting. I myself, I don’t have the list; any members of the ICAD don’t have the list. So, when she met the—before meeting the Dangerous Drugs’ Board, inimbitahan ko ang Vice President natin for a very, very short meeting with her sa PDEA.

So bago siya pumunta sa Dangerous Drugs’ Board nag-drop by siya sa PDEA. And sinabi ko sa kanya, Ma’am, I’m talking two things this morning to you. Number one, I would explain to you why China, as you had said in your interview that the main drugs are coming from mainly China. And number two, I will show you the high-value targets, the list of high-value targets. But she refused. She refused to be briefed on why—sabi ko nga sa kanya, Ma’am, hindi nanggagaling sa China lahat, mainly now. There’s a geographical shift now, but instead, most of the drugs now are coming from golden triangle region.

In fact, for this year alone, 24 incidents of drug seizures are coming from golden triangle. And from this 24, almost a thousand kilos were seized worth more than 6.2 billion pesos. So doon pa lang makikita mo na iyong geographical shift of drug trafficking previously in China, now it’s not now in China, but more on the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. And there are two thick books on my side and sabi ko sa kanya, “Ma’am, I’m giving you this list of high-value targets, more than 12,000 are high-value targets” – ganiyan po kakapal iyong libro.

And the other book, this one, is the accomplishments of all law enforcement agencies on high-value targets. That’s more than 8,700 arrests of high-value targets. But unfortunately she refused to see the list of high-value targets and the briefing presentation of PDEA, for the reason that, sabi niya sa akin, “Alam mo Director General, hindi ko pa kasi alam kung ano ang scope of authority ko, hindi ko alam if I need to know that or not.”

So, iyong meeting na iyon, walang nangyari. So hanggang sinundo na siya ng Dangerous Drugs Board for a meeting with them. But again, there’s also a response from Malacañang with regard to my letter asking for the scope of authority. It says there that it’s up to me as the co-chair of ICAD to give delineation on what is the scope of authority of the (Vice) President. In short, parang kami-kami na lang ang mag-uusap sa ICAD to determine kung anu-anong … we’ll just make an arrangement kung papaano bibigyan ng scope of authority o ano ang magiging responsibility ng ating Vice President. And of course, it will be put into a resolution that we need to furnish Malacañang.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, given what you said, do you believe sir, she could have contributed or done more to law enforcement aspect if she wasn’t removed only days after she was appointed as your co-chair?

DG AQUINO: Well, after the mother ICAD meeting and the law enforcement meeting, nagpadala ang ating Vice President ng dalawang report sa dalawang meeting na iyon. Iyong report na iyon ay pinadala niya sa ating mahal na Presidente, at nakasaad doon kung ano iyong mga nakita niyang dapat ayusin, iyong mga recommendations niya. For example, nakita niya iyong baseline, there’s no baseline of drug users and drug pushers. You would know na it started with 1.8 in 20… I think, 15 0r 16 and then itong 2017 0r 18 na naging four million drug users. So parang walang clear na baseline doon.

But as of now, the Dangerous Drugs’ Board is conducting a national survey to determine exactly on how many drug users and pushers, and hopefully it will come out in the first quarter of 2020.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, kahit hindi na siya co-chair ng ICAD, what will you do to her recommendations?

DG AQUINO: Last Tuesday we had an ICAD fellowship. I just hoped na naimbitahan ko pa ang ating Vice President during our fellowship, Christmas fellowship. And during that time, I presented to the ICAD members kung ano ang mga recommendations ng ating Vice President. And sabi ko naman, if it would be beneficial to the ICAD, why not; let’s follow her recommendation.

I distributed the letters to all ICAD members, and I asked them to comply, on the concerned agencies kung ano iyong mga dapat i-comply doon.

DG AQUINO: May idugtong lang ako ha, sorry ha. The Vice President failed to meet the other three clusters. Iyong sinabi ko sa kaniya that she will meet … na you need to meet the four clusters, ang nangyari, she failed to meet the other three clusters when she started to meet other international counterparts like the US, the UNODC kaya siguro ang nangyari ay nami-misinformed siya.

For example, iyong issue about China. The drugs are coming from China. Nagkakaroon ng misinformation, hindi niya nakukuha lahat iyong problema ng illegal drugs. Should she met the four ICAD clusters, magiging mas malaki iyong kaniyang scope of knowledge kung ano iyong drug situation ng Pilipinas. And maybe, after meeting the four clusters, eh sana kung mayroon man siyang mai-implement na program o strategy to strengthen the ICAD, sana nagawa sana iyong ganoon.

Ang problema kasi parang … hindi ko ba alam kung na-overwhelmed ang ating Vice President from a lot of invitations. She’s started going around, going to rehabilitation centers, going to barangays without finishing or consulting the ICAD. So sana natapos niya lahat iyong clusters na iyon. Before going around, before meeting all other people, sana natapos niya iyong meeting ng clusters na iyon. So iyon lang ang tingin ko na hindi nagawa ng ating Bise Presidente na iyon, and hopefully sana na-meet niya iyong buong clusters na iyon to better understand the drug situation in our country.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, quick follow-up on that. You said that PDEA is conducting a national survey on how many drug users are there—

DG AQUINO: It’s not us; it’s Dangerous Drugs’ Board.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: So can you walk us through, sir, kung anong dynamics ng survey?

DG AQUINO: I cannot explain that. It’s being done by Dangerous Drugs’ Board. I think, it’s more scientific way of determining kung ano talaga iyong number of users and pushers, and iyong number of participants ay mas malaki. So hopefully, I was informed, by first quarter of 2020 lalabas iyong survey na iyon. But I cannot give you a detailed way on how they conducted the survey.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Hindi ba ito, sir, parang one-on-one magsi-survey bawat community?

DG AQUINO: Parang ganoon, household. Pupuntahan sila and they will ask, there’s a certain questionnaire to be answered. And there’s a better way on doing that, I don’t know exactly. Sabi ko nga, it’s hard to ask, ‘di ba kunwari pupunta ka sa bahay, “Ilan ho ba adik dito?”; ‘Di ba, “Ilan ba ang pusher dito?” May aamin ba? Eh wala, alam naman sabihin ng nanay, “Oo, lahat ng anak ko pusher. Lahat ng anak ko user,” eh di bukas inu-operate-an na sila.

Again, I cannot answer for that – for Dangerous Drugs Board. Maybe Dangerous Drugs Board can explain to you more in detail, how they’ve done it.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, other issue po. The International Criminal Court is about to conclude its preliminary examination. Are you going to provide them the data that you have?

ASEC. RAFAEL: I’ll answer for DG. The ICC is in its preliminary examination stage, and up to 2020, I think they would still finalize the preliminary examination before they can ask permission from the pre-trial chamber if they can be authorized to conduct investigation.

So where it is now, they can—we can provide whatever data that we have because they can access it naman sa mga websites natin and we always publish them. In fact, in their preliminary examination report, they even said there that they’ve been getting data from government agencies, from NGOs and from stakeholders who always send them report from the Philippines. So I don’t think there’s any problem with that because they can always access government records.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Are there any formal communications from the ICC?

ASEC. RAFAEL: I don’t think so. We don’t know with the DFA, but as of this time, at this point, I don’t think there is, especially that it’s still at the preliminary examinations stage. And I don’t think the government—we will wait if and when the government would accede to consent to reply.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: For DG Aquino. Sir, when did the surveying start to account for … you know, to give us a batter estimate of how many—

DG AQUINO: Ano po iyon?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: The surveying of the number of users and pushers, kailan po nag-umpisa iyon?

DG AQUINO: Within the year lang nag-umpisa iyon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Okay. So what was our basis, sir, for the initial estimates that we had, iyong four million na madalas pong binabanggit?

DG AQUINO: Iyon nga, when I asked … one time when I asked one of the Usecs of Dangerous Drugs’ Board – is four million accurate. Parang … hindi ba nagkaroon ng drug users na four million. And then it came to a point when our President during one of the statements, his statement that drug users now is about 7 to 8 million – so parang gulung-gulo ako, ilan ba talaga ang drug users.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Eh sir, saan nga nanggaling iyong four million to begin with?

DG AQUINO: Nagkaroon ng ano iyan eh parang it derived from the computed data based on the number of surrenderers, number of total household visited and the total number of household nationwide. So the methodology is deriving the estimated number of drug users is the formula of ratio and proportion. So there’s a formula, something like a formula on how did they do it to end up with a four million number of drug users.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. Sir, on the Vice President: On Monday she’s presenting her report, I was wondering when you guys worked together, lahat po ba ng information that was given her, you were aware of those?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Yes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. So, is there anything you think that she can present that hindi pa po napi-present sa public given na alam ninyo po iyong mga nakarating sa kaniyang information? What—basically, anong expectations ninyo doon sa presentation niya on Monday?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Sa tingin ko iyong presentation niya, iyon iyong mga—iyong sinasabi niyang discoveries, iyon iyong sulat niya kay Presidente kung saan nakasaad doon iyong mga recommendations niya to strengthen the ICAD. Kaya ngayon, kinonsolidate ko iyong dalawang sulat na iyon which na-copy furnished ako, and then I started giving these reports also to all ICAD members last Tuesday noong nagkaroon kami ng fellowship; and I told them to comply to the recommendations of the Vice President.

Sabi ko, hindi naman masama iyong sinabi ng ating Vice President sa nakita niyang mga recommendations to strengthen our drug efforts. Kaya doon pa lang sabi ko sisingilin ko kayo by January, lahat ng concerned agencies, gusto ko mayroon kayong sagot doon sa mga recommendations ng Vice President natin.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. So apart from the expected presentation of recommendations, iyong—baka may umaasa na baka mayroon siyang i-reveal that’s… I don’t know, state secrets or anything that’s—real discovery that would surprise the people, based on the information as you mentioned, na alam mong nakarating sa kaniya, mayroon po bang possibility na mangyari iyon?

PDEA DG AQUINO: If there is, I urge her to open up. Hindi kailangan itago, kung ano iyong discoveries na nakita niya whether it’s good or bad for the administration, then go.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Thank you, sir.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Hi, sir. Sir just to clarify, may copy na po kayo noong report ni Vice President?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Wala pa po. Ina-assume ko lang na iyong mga discoveries niya, iyon iyong mga recommendations o mga issues na nakikita niya during her two weeks as my Co-Chair doon sa ICAD. So iyon lang in-assume ko kasi mahaba iyon eh, doon sa letter niya kay Presidente. And from there nga, binigyan ko na lahat ng kopya iyong mga ICAD members. So in-assume ko lang na iyon iyong mga discoveries niya.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Ah. Pero wala pa pong nabibigay na copy sa PDEA?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Wala pa po.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Okay po. Tapos sir as Chair of ICAD po, how would you assess Vice—kasi sabi ninyo po kanina may mga hindi siya na-meet na cluster, how would you assess her overall performance po with ICAD as your Co-Chair po?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Iyon lang ang sinasabi ko na siguro missteps ang nangyari sa kaniya na sana she should have met all the 4 clusters. Iyon lang ang nagiging problema eh, na sana pin- plan-out (plan-out) kung ano bang gagawin ko para maintindihan ko muna; Sana inasikaso muna niya iyong ICAD which is a very, very important committee so she could learn everything from there.

So, how would you understand everything if you are not meeting these people? And yet, now you’re meeting with other agencies, other foreign groups or what, na iyong mismong drug situation sa mga bansa na iyon, mas malaki pa ang problema nila kaysa sa atin.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: But sir, generally do you think did she do well? Did she perform poorly? How would you assess it as Chair of the committee, sir?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Naging okay naman iyong performance niya during our time, pero siyempre hindi ko maano eh, makuha iyong talagang ano eh, ma-rate siya. It’s just two weeks, papaano mo mare-rate iyong ano na ganoon. So, she’s not even—kaya nga minsan may data prior to her—iyong mga accomplishments sa grounds prior doon sa assumption niya, during her assumption and after assumption.

Sabi ko useless itong data na ito kasi she was not even involved doon sa ano eh, sa grounds eh. Hindi siya na-involve sa mga any operations, she did not give any directives or did not supervise our people on the grounds. So useless iyong sinasabi mo na iyong time na wala siya, ito iyong namatay; ngayon nandiyan siya, ito iyong namatay. What’s the importance of that data – walang ano iyan, walang importance iyon.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Okay, sir. Sa PNP lang po, kay Spox Banac. Sir kayo po, on the police side po, ano pong comment ninyo doon sa ire-release na report ni Vice President on Monday po?

PNP SPOKESPERSON BANAC: Well, anumang ipapahayag ng ating Vice President Leni Robredo, sa ikabubuti at ikagaganda pa ng ating kampanya laban sa iligal na droga ay welcome sa PNP at inaasahan natin na magagamit natin ito para lalo pang maging epektibo ang ating kampanya laban sa iligal na droga.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir with regards to the report of the Vice President, do you think there will be surprises ng mga things that she might have discovered? Because you said, she did not have access to the high-value target list, right? So, what do you think will—aside from the recommendations, do you think there’ll be surprises?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Kahit may access siya sa high-value targets, palagay ko wala naman siyang makikita doon eh. Kaya what’s the use? Just like me ‘no as the ICAD Chair, I didn’t need to know kung ano iyon, kung sino iyong mga nasa listahan na iyon. What’s important is that my people are complying with the targets every month – that they should commit a number of high-value targets to be arrested, iyon ang importante doon eh.

But if I have a list, a book of 12,000 high-value targets, do you think I will be more effective if I have this 12,000 list of high-value targets? Or the more important thing is you supervise your people to comply with the number of targets that we need to arrest on high-impact operations and on high-value targets. Kasi sa compliance namin ngayon is more than 8,000 already were arrested on high-value targets; more than 8,000 na.

So we need more arrests on high-value targets of course, because there’re 12,000 more to be arrested on high-value targets. But at least, malaki-laki na iyong na-accomplish natin on their arrest.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, clarification. The high-value target list contains 12,000 names?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Yeah.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You’ve arrested 8,000?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Yeah.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You have 4,000 more to go?

PDEA DG AQUINO: No, no. Kasi every now and then hindi naman komo nahuli namin ito, nasa listahan eh. So mayroong mga tao na wala sa listahan pero they are high-value targets.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala sa listahan but they’re high—

PDEA DG AQUINO: Noong 12,000. Kunwari may 12,000 na iyan; may isa tayong nahuli, pero iyong tao na iyon wala sa listahan ng high-value targets. We just discovered recently, for example, bago pa lang na siya pala ay high-value target. For example: isang parameter kasi ng high-value targets, is when you seized 50 grams, more than 50 grams of drugs of shabu for example. So wala siya sa listahan pero naka-seize ka sa isang tao ng 100 grams, now these people, this drug offender now becomes a high-value target because you seized more than 50 grams.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright. So sir just based on the 12,000, I’m trying to imagine that if you have a list of names and you would do intelligence work, wouldn’t you find some connections with these people? And in that sense, would you be able to establish the groups that they may be running? Because I’m trying to understand the structure of the drug industry based on the HVT.

PDEA DG AQUINO: That’s right. Itong mga high-value targets natin, included dito iyong local drug groups and international groups. Kasama na ito noong lahat ng—based on our report, I think we have about 186 local drug groups in the Philippines.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And, how about foreign?

PDEA DG AQUINO: Foreign, I don’t have any list right now kung ilan na drug group. But ang pinakamalaki nating drug group ngayon is iyong Dragon Wu drug group. Iyong recent na nahuli natin together with Bureau of Immigration, si Mr. Lianyi Hong is a drug lord, a Chinese drug lord that—he is the one who facilitated that clandestine drug laboratory in Ibaan, Batangas, in Malabon and in Tagaytay; so siya iyong pinaka-head, siya iyong pinaka-top. He was arrested by Bureau of Immigration and we coordinated with them para sa hold departure order. Luckily tumibre, because lalabas sana ito si Hong Liangyi papuntang Istanbul. So, he is also known to be the right hand of Dragon Wu. Dragon Wu is pinaka-drug lord ito ng China na nag-o-operate sa ating country and his true name is Wu Ping Cheng [?]. So far, sampu na ang naaresto natin na members ng Dragon Wu Drug group, international drug group.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Any other big groups, sir, aside from this one?

DG AQUINO: Iyong Jacky Co Drug group, iyong—I am sorry, I cannot remember these Chinese names eh, parang ang hirap-hirap i-memorize.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Ilan, sir, iyong mga major drug groups?

DG AQUINO: Tingnan n’yo na lang iyong mga seizures ng PNP at saka big seizures ng PDEA and these are the international drug groups and also to include big seizures by Bureau of Customs.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: With regards to maybe local executives HVT ninyo. You mentioned meron dito data na arrested elected officials ano. Would you be able to tell us if in the HVT there are government officials who are involved in drugs that have yet to be arrested?

DG AQUINO: Iyong mga local—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Executives, sir.

DG AQUINO: Yes, of course they are included there.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Would you be able to please tell us the highest rank based on HVT?

DG AQUINO: I’m sorry, I don’t have the list eh, pero—may matataas iyon definitely, maybe some congressman.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: That are involved in drugs?

DG AQUINO: Yeah.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: How many?

DG AQUINO: I don’t know the exact number. Some governors, many of them are Barangay Chairmen, barangay leaders.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: when you say involved, they are really the business ‘no?

DG AQUINO: Some, yes. They are running the business, other are in cahoots of the business.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, ano lang, last na lang. I’m trying to see the trend of the number of killings. So if we have the data from 2016, could you—maybe can help Asec. Per year tally ng 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Kasi you just gave like 5,000. But I don’t know if this is going to be a trend na pataas iyong killings or pababa. I’m just trying to see it.

ASEC. RAFAEL: Yes, iyong PDEA can provide if you want per year data. We can provide for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. We can give it. So we have here 5,552 and we’d like to clarify that the one announced by the PNP before na 6,700 plus, during the harmonization workshop between the PNP, PDEA and other law enforcement agencies, they found out that 1,194 out of those are police operations, they are not anti-illegal drugs operation per se. When we say police operations, they are deaths that occurred, halimbawa, may checkpoint and then nagkasagupa and then biglang may nahanap na droga sa bulsa, iyong mga ganoong pangyayari. Or puwedeng police patrol, pero hindi anti-illegal drug operations; or puwedeng kidnapping, tapos may chase, nagkahabulan, may namatay ang then biglang may nahanap na droga sa mga sasakyan or sa mga bulsa, sa mga namatay. So, these are police operations per se and they are not anti-illegal drugs operations. That is why the disparity and that was announced by the PNP in July. So, iyon po iyong bakit ganoon iyong numero.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: DG, iyon pong sa recommendation ni Vice President ‘no. You are willing to admin—or are you willing to concede na walang… one of those that you mentioned parang walang baseline data, iko-concede n’yo ba iyong point na iyon na tama iyon or that’s wrong?

DG AQUINO: Tama iyong discovery niya iyon, na walang scientific base data iyong baseline data iyong ating mga drug users. And that’s the reason why the Dangerous Drugs Board is doing something about that.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, sir we started a drug war without baseline?

DG AQUINO: We have, we have 4 million, alam n’yo naman iyon di ba. Kaya lang, hindi siya masyadong scientific. Kumbaga, hindi ganoon ka-accurate and that’s the reason why the DDB is doing something to have a better and more accurate and more scientific way of getting the figure.

Q: DG Aquino Viber question lang po tungkol doon sa high-value target, may nagpapatanong lang. Nabanggit kasi kanina iyong sa LGU, mga pulitiko. How about doon sa matataas na opisyales ng militar at saka pulis.

DG AQUINO: Kasama po iyon, yung uniformed personnel natin sa military, sa police, even sa PDEA, mayroong kasama iyan sa high value targets. And the PNP are doing their own, kaya nga alam ng PNP nasa kanila iyong listahan na iyan nagki-case build up sila. Sabi ko nga, it’s not easy to do the case build up, it will take some time and they are doing all their efforts also na ma-case build up iyong isang, for example, isang drug personality na police para eventually mahuli ang mga iyan.

In fact, tuloy-tuloy iyong operations na ginagawa ng ating IMEG [Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group] natin at nakikita n’yo naman kung gaano rin kalaki ang accomplishment ng IMEG especially doon sa mga police na hindi gumagawa ng tama at ganundin sa ating law enforcement agencies.

Q: Sir, iba ba iyong qualification ng protector o kasama na sila sa high value target.

DG AQUINO: Pag sinabing high value targets, pag sinabi mo iyong uniformed personnel ka pa lang, high value target ka na; if you are foreigner, high value target ka na kaagad. If you are member of a terrorist group, might be BIFF, Abu Sayyaf group or the NPA, high value target ka na kaagad. If you are a celebrity high value target ka na kaagad. It doesn’t mean kung maliit man o malaki iyong nakukuha sa iyo, just as long nandodoon ka sa category na iyon, you are considered high value targets.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, follow up lang po. Sir, iyong mga binanggit ninyong big drug groups iyong katulad nung Dragon Wu saka iyong pang mga malalaking grupo. Meron po kayong intelligence information kung paano sila nakapasok dito sa bansa, sino iyong posibleng mga contacts nila sa gobyerno or sa uniformed personnel?

DG AQUINO: Yes. Kaya nga sinasabi ko we cannot address the problem by ourselves. We need the cooperation of our international counterparts, sila iyong nagbibigay ng information iyong mga international counterpart natin. For example, iyong Dragon Wu group is on cooperation with the Narcotics Board of China. We are doing our cooperation with them to finally neutralize and to arrest all the members of these Dragon Wu group. In fact only yesterday, we have a fellowship with our international counterparts. So lahat ng ating mga members na mga international counterparts natin doon nandoon, including the local counterparts and it’s very important to have a partnership and cooperation with them. In fact, iyong recently naging partner na natin iyong Mexico at saka Colombia in giving us information.

Kahapon nandoon iyong isang member, iyong Third Secretary ng Colombia and iyong nga sinasabi ko na I gave a report to him na lumabas na finally iyong drug profiling ng cocaine. Humingi kami ng tulong three months ago sa USDEA to conduct profiling on cocaine that was seized in the Eastern part of our country. And I think there are about 30 or 25 samples of those—out of the 20 samples that we have, 19 are traditionally came from Colombia, iyong cocaine na ito, only one came from Peru.

So tama po iyong assessment ko that cocaine are coming from either Colombia or Peru. So again, these discoveries of cocaine are not intended locally, is not being consumed by our country but it is for the consumption of other countries such as Australia, Japan, China and other cocaine-consuming countries. So (unclear) para once and for all matapos ito – this is being done in a shipside smuggling.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So transshipment point na po ang Pilipinas ng cocaine?

DG AQUINO: Yes, that’s right. We are being used as a transshipment point. Binabagsak ito mula sa malalaking barko, and then kinukuha nang mas maliliit na mga vessels. Kaya lang because of ocean currents and other problems, in spite na mayroon silang GPS or homing device, they failed to get all these floating cocaine. So makikita natin na marami tayong nadi-discover. But this should have been delivered to other areas or other countries and not to us.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, may identified po kayong contacts nila dito sa Pilipinas, like sa gobyerno or kahit negosyante or … Paano sila nakakapag-operate dito nang wala silang contact dito sa local?

DG AQUINO: Definitely mayroon silang mga contacts dito, and that we are now conducting investigation because maraming ano, maraming nakikita tayong mga Chinese-looking persons na nagda-dive, nagka-conduct ng diving diyan sa mga areas na iyan, kung saan iyong mga discoveries ng cocaine pero hindi naman diving site. So this is happening mostly in Region V and CARAGA Region.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So nagiging front nila iyong diving?

DG AQUINO: Yeah, kunwari magda-dive sila or what.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Iyong tourism, sir, parang iyong tourism ay nagiging front na ngayon ng ano?

DG AQUINO: No, hindi naman. Siyempre, it will be a cover up na kunwari nagda-dive sila but actually maybe they are trying to search other cocaine in that particular waters ‘no. So we are asking again the help ng ating Coast Guard, ng ating Navy and ang Maritime police to help us, of course, to guard our vast coastlines.

Again, during my talk with other international countries, we have the same problem. In Colombia, in Mexico, in all other Asian countries, we have the same problem na they could easily smuggle drugs using our coastlines. In spite that they have the most modern technology on using their vessels, they have the manpower, they have the capability and anything, and yet talagang nahihirapan din silang guwardyahan iyang coastline nila. So we have practically the same here in our country.

FRANCIS WAKEFIELD/TRIBUNE: Hi, sir. Good morning po, sir. Sir, tanong ko lang, on previous weeks, I think October, nagkaroon ng parang negative reports about na may alitan ang PNP at ang PDEA, iyong hype nang kay Drug Queen, ganoon. In relation to that, sir, kumusta naman ang relationship ng PNP at ng PDEA? Kasi previously ‘di ba may mga negative reports about …

SPOKESPERSON BANAC: Well, nais po nating pabulaanan iyong mga ganoong balita na mayroong di-umanong hidwaan ang PNP at ang PDEA. Ang katotohanan ay napakalakas po ng ating ugnayan, ang dalawang ahensiyang ito at patuloy ang ating kampaniya laban sa … pinag-igting na kampaniya laban sa iligal na droga. At maging iyong ating mga operational procedures ay patuloy nating binabalangkas at niri-review natin para lalo pa nating mapaganda, mapaayos ang ating mga procedures sa field, lalung-lalo na iyong coordination, lalo na iyong mga buy-bust operation na talagang nangangailangan na ng immediate action.

So mayroon tayong mga nakalatag na na mga procedures at alam na ng mga operatiba natin ang kanilang gagawin. So wala po dapat ikabahala ang ating publiko sa mga kumakalat na fake news lamang.

DG AQUINO: Copy-paste na lang kung ano ang sinabi niya. No, actually hindi mo naman minsan maiiwasan iyong konting banggaan ng PNP at saka PDEA especially on operational matters ‘no, kasi we have the same drive to conduct operations. Katulad noon, noong nagkaroon kami nang konting hindi, well, pagkakaintindihan ni General Albayalde, talagang … siya iyong top PNP, ako iyong top PDEA, nagbabanggaan kami. So ang nangyayari, ang ginagawa ko, I see to it na iyong mga tauhan niya sa baba ay kinakausap ko katulad ni General Eleazar. Lagi kaming nag-uusap during that time when he was still with the NCR, kinakausap ko siya tungkol doon kay Drug Queen, kung paano namin mahuhuli.

In fact, napaylan na namin ng kaso si Drug Queen now for the case of murder. Kasi nga kapag hinuli mo si Drug Queen sa ibang bansa, lahat ng kaso niya sa Pilipinas ay bailable eh, parang estafa lang yata ang kaso o bouncing check law or something like that. So sayang lang ang effort natin kung iyon lang ang ipapakita natin. So we’re trying to find a way, especially the PNP and the PDEA to file a case of murder against the Drug Queen.

So normal lang iyon sa ibang ahensiya. Hindi natin masasabi na, you know, sometimes nandoon iyong competition eh: That the PNP would like to operate on this, we’d like also to operate on this. I think that’s normal for me because we have … iyong drive namin pare-parehong mataas. Pero after that, wala naman kami talagang kumbaga nagtatanim ng sama ng loob – wala iyon. In fact, sabi ko nga, I’ve been there for 36 years, sa Philippine National Police, so hindi ko kailangan na siraan, hindi ko kailangan na masamain ang Philippine National Police dahil diyan ako nanggaling.

FRANCIS WAKEFIELD/TRIBUNE: Nabanggit ninyo iyong si former PNP Chief Albayalde. Wala pa tayong currently na permanent na PNP Chief. Sir, kayo ba ay nakapagbigay kayo ng input kay Presidente kung …kasi as a former police officer general, nakapagbigay ba kayo ng input kung sino ang possibly na mapipili niya na next PNP Chief considering na may relationship nga ang PNP at PDEA in terms sa drug war because iyong nangyari nga kay Chief PNP before, ‘di ba kay General Albayalde? Comment lang, sir.

DG AQUINO: Well, ayaw ko namang pangunahan ang ating Presidente kung anong … siya kasi ang may discretion kung sino ang ia-appoint niya na Chief PNP ‘no. Pero ang sa tingin ko, mas inclined piliin ng Presidente iyong nakasama niya. At siyempre kapag once na nakasama niya itong isang officer na ito, nandoon ang tiwala, nandoon ang trust, alam niya iyong working habits ng opisyal na ito. So kapag once nakilala ka ng Presidente, most likely baka mas malaki ang tiyansa na ikaw ang piliin bilang Chief PNP.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, quick lang ito. Are there active police generals who are into drugs?

SPOKESPERSON BANAC: Well, sa ngayon, wala pong sinumang mga heneral na aktibo na involved sa illegal drugs. Ang pinakamataas na patuloy natin na minu-monitor ay isang police major lamang, at dalawa ay police lieutenant, labingsiyam ang mga non-commission officers na pinaghinalaan natin in the past na sangkot sa drug recycling subalit hindi naman natin nakikitaan ngayon ng kanilang involvement – maaaring nag-lie low or talagang tumigil na. Pero nananatili ang ating monitoring at naghihintay lamang tayo ng pagkakataon na mahuli natin sila sa akto at may ebidensiya na masasamsam para magamit natin sa pagsasampa ng kaso laban sa kanila. So iyon po ang estado ng ating mga minu-monitor na mga active police officers. Walang nang mas nakakahigit pa na mga matataas na ranggo.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Thank you, sir. Sir, sa PDEA, how high iyong rank na involved sa drugs?

DG AQUINO: ‘Di ba iyong Deputy ko na-involve? Iyong Deputy ko dati na-involve. Sa ngayon, we are still monitoring. Every now and then we are conducting our internal cleansing sa PDEA, in fact, twice a year ay nagko-conduct kami ng drug testing. So the last time we had a drug test was last August – so January 2019 and August 2019 ay nag-conduct kami ng drug tests. May nag-positive ba; walang nag-positive?

ALVIN BALTAZAR: Maraming salamat, MPC. Maraming salamat, General Banac. Maraming salamat, Asec. Marie, DG Aaron Aquino at Director Carreon. Nice to see you again, sir.

##

Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)