Press Release
October 12, 2006

Drilon to PDEA, DDB: Explain missing
P3.8 billion worth of shabu

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Franklin M. Drilon today said that he was withholding approval of the proposed 2007 budgets of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) totaling to P740 million for next year until the two agencies could explain what happened to the over 1,906 kilos of missing seized shabu, estimated to be worth P3.8 billion.

Scrutinizing the 2004 yearend report of PDEA, Drilon found that the total shabu seized was 3,730,744 grams and 461,260 grams have been destroyed and burned. At the end of 2004, PDEA have an inventory of only 3,269,484 grams of shabu.

"But if you look at the beginning balance of 2005, per the report of PDEA for 2005, the beginning balance is only 1,362,793 grams. Therefore from December 31, 2004 to January 1, 2005 shabu inventory was reduced by 1,906,690 grams or 1,906 kilos worth P3.8 billion. I am asking these two agencies to account for these unaccounted for seized shabu," Drilon said.

Drilon also discovered that PDEA have seized 110 tables of ecstasy as indicated on page 16 of their 2005 report, which suddenly disappeared on page 23 of the same report.

"I am asking them to explain all of these because it would appear that something fishy is happening. This is the rationale behind Section 21 the Dangerous Drugs Act, or the so-called Drilon amendment, that requires the immediate burning of the seized shabu within a 24 hour period. This is not being followed," Drilon said.

"I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. I said, I hope this is just an error in reporting, etc. but unless you can explain this, I will assume that this cannot be accounted for," Drilon added.

Drilon also urged Undersecretary Dionisio Santiago, who assumed leadership of PDEA five months ago, to look into this discrepancy in their inventory of seized illegal drugs.

"In fairness to Uundersecretary Santiago, these year-end reports and what are reported in these two reports happened before his time," he said.

During the same budget hearing, Drilon also lashed at DDB for its plan to spend P7.5 million next year to purchase luxury vehicles. This will be sourced from the Special fund that came from the earnings of Pagcor, Sweepstakes, the Manila Jockey Club, and the Philippine Racing Club, amounting to over P70 million every year.

"This fund is supposed to be the support fund for the rehabilitation centers. They are proposing to buy one Toyota Camry, three Toyota Innova, one Hiace Commuter. This has nothing to do with drug rehabilitation. Siguro rehabilitation ng members ng DDB but certainly nothing to do with the rehabilitation of drug dependents in the drug centers all over the Philippines, "Drilon said.

"It is for this reason that I have told them that I will not recommend approval of the budget and will be prepared to recommend a P1 budget for these agencies if they could not sufficiently and validly explain these unaccounted shabu for inventory. And if they could not explain and they could not stop the purchase of these luxury vehicles, which in fact, would be contrary to the Administrative Order of Malacañang ," Drilon said.

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