Thursday| June 22, 2017
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was interviewed by Stephen Sackur at BBC’s HARDtalk and shared his thoughts about President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Trillanes, a known critic of Duterte, criticized the current administration’s policy especially his war against illegal drugs that allegedly killed thousands of drug addicts and pushers.
Sackur asked Trillanes if he can confirm that the public chose Duterte as their President because of the illegal drug problem in the Philippines.
“Isn’t the truth senator Trillanes, that the Filipino public elected Duterte to the presidency because they wanted a tough guy, they wanted a guy who can impose order in the Philippines, if one looks back in the situation of the Philippines when he took over the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency stated last year that 92% of the districts in Manila for example where affected by drugs, the overwhelming drug choice is being crystal meth” Sackur said.
The TV Host also said that the increasing crime rate because of illegal drugs was the reason why the people chosen President Duterte who said that he’s the one who can solve the problem.
Trillanes explained that President Rodrigo Duterte ‘created his own crisis’ and he explained that despite of having 98% affected places in Metro Manila, the whole country only have “27% of the barangays” affected by illegal drugs.
He also claimed that only 1.8% of the whole population in the Philippines were addicted to illegal drugs and most of them are using ‘marijuana’.
“In terms of national statistics, we only have 1.8% of the population that has used illegal drugs, most of it are Marijuana compared to the global average of 5% so in fact our drug problem is not as bad as it seems” Trillanes said.
Trillanes statistics that he shared to the international media was different to the statistics claimed by the Duterte administration which showed that there are almost four million addicts to crystal meth also known as Shabu in the Philippines.
According to Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) remains to be the most abused illegal drugs in the Philippines.
The senator also said that illegal drugs must not be prioritized by the government.
“While we agree that it should be address, but it is not the primary or the only problem in our country,” Trillanes said.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte became the leader of the Philippines, senator Trillanes together with his allies from Liberal Party criticized the current administration’s war on drugs and it’s alleged human rights abuses.
During the election period, problem on illegal drugs became the main topic of the netizens which they believe that became the cause of many heinous crimes in the Philippines.
Most Filipinos believe that illegal drugs destroyed the brain of it’s user, but Professor Carl Hart from Columbia University and U.N Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard claimed that it’s only a hoax.
It’s reportedly that Shabu industry in the Philippines valued at P250 billion annually.
According to PDEA. from 2010 to 2015, there are 623 government officials and employees arrested for drug possession and the Duterte administration released a thick list of government officials who allegedly involved in illegal drug business that included five Philippine National Police generals.
From July 1, 2016 – May 9, 2017, there are 1,266,966 self-confessed drug addicts surrendered to the authorities, 72,812 were arrested and 2,949 were killed during anti-drug operations.