Press Release
October 12, 2006

Transcript of Sen. Franklin M. Drilon's press conference

Q: On the budget of PDEA

SFMD: I am withholding approval of the budget of the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency, of about P740 million for their failure to explain what appears to be an unaccounted for illegal drugs. On the basis of the 2004 report year-end report of PDEA, the total shabu seized was 3,730,744 grams. And according to their report, they have destroyed and burned 461,260 grams. Therefore, at the end of 2004, they have an inventory of 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.

Ano po ang nangyari? Doon po sa report nila noong December 2004, ang sinabi nila, mayroong natitirang 3,269,484 gramo ng shabu. Pero doon sa report nila ng 2005, sabi nila, 1,362,793 gramo ang nasa imbentaryo. Samakatuwid, medyo hindi ma-account ang 1,906 kilo ng shabu na nagkakahalaga ng P3.8 billion.

Moreover, I have discovered that they have seized, according to their report in 2005, ecstasy, 110.75 pieces, according to the report on page 16. Suddenly, on page 23, the inventory of the ecstasy, nawala na ang 110 tablets. I am asking them to explain all of these because it would appear that there something happening. That is why I included in the Dangerous Drugs Act Section 21. That is the Drilon amendment in the law, which requires the burning of the inventory within 24 hours. The burning of the seized drugs under Section 21 must be done within 24 hours from seizure. May mga proseso pong nakalagay diyan sa Section 21 na dapat sunugin ang shabu within 24 hours. Hindi po sinusunod ito. Mayroon silang mga imbentaryo. Now, in fairness, hindi po kasalanan ito ni Usec. Dionisio Santiago. Because Usec. Santiago only assumed the position five months ago. He inherited this problem. I have full faith and confidence in Usec Santiago. This is a problem that he inherited. So he must look into this.

Also, I discovered that under the law, the DDB would have a Special Fund coming from Pagcor, Sweepstakes, the Manila Jockey Club, and the Philippine Racing Club. This amounts to over P70 million every year. This fund is supposed to be the support fund for the rehabilitation centers. Mayroon pong pondo na nanggagaling sa Pagcor, Sweepstakes, sa Manila Jockey Club at Philippine Racing Club. Sa kabuuan, ito po ay umaabot ng mahigit sa P70 milyon sa bawat taon. Ano po ang ating nadiskubre? Ang budget po nila, kasama sa rehabilitation fund kuno na ibibigay nila ay bumibili sila ng P7.5 milyon ng isang Toyota Camry, 3 Toyota Innova, 1 Hiace Commuter for 2007. They propose to buy luxury vehicles for P7.5 million. 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.

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 for drug 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 .

Q: When you raised the discrepancy, what was their initial explanation?

SFMD: They could not explain it. Because they are saying that the source documents for their annual reports are the same. That is why there is something wrong with the custody of these illegal drugs. This is big business.

Q: This is P3.8 billion?

SFMD: That is the value that PDEA itself has attributed to this.

Q: On Usec. Santiago

SFMD: Usec. Santiago, in fairness to him, just came in five months ago. Even these year-end reports and what are reported in these two reports happened before his time. This happened during Avelino's watch. 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.

Q: Excluded pa rito ang nanakaw recently?

SFMD: Yes, small time iyon. Ito 1,906 kilo. We are not even talking here about 2006. We are just talking about 2005.

Q: Will you continue the hearings during the break?

SFMD: Huwag naman. We have already finished about 95% of the budget.

Q: Ano na lang ang mga agencies na naiwan?

SFMD: Office of the President, Department of Agriculture, OmbudsmanWe have already heard about 95 % of the budget. There is just about 5% left when we come back on November 6. I am confident that we will have enough time to finish the committee deliberations on the budget. We are informed that the House should be able to finish the debates by the end of this week and approve the budget on second reading either by the end of the week or when we come back in November and thereafter, we approve the General Appropriations bill on third reading. We expect to receive from the House, the General Appropriations bill the week of November 6 to November 10. We will examine the version of the House. We will conduct hearings on the General Appropriations bill starting November 13. Our schedule would be that between November 21 and November 25, we should be able to submit the committee report to the Senate and start defending and sponsoring the measure. It's on track. As of this time, we have finished approximately 95% of the national budget. (end)

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