Cebu has highest drug rate? Davide puzzled over Duterte's claims

Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2017 11:40 PM

Then President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III in this August 24, 2015 file photo. Robert Viñas, Malacañang Photo Bureau

CEBU - Governor Hilario Davide III on Thursday neither confirmed nor denied the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte that Cebu province has the highest drug rate in the country.

Davide is puzzled on the basis of Duterte's statement.

"I cannot also say for certain kung ang iyang figures is correct. I don't know who fed the President that data. We can check with the PDEA," Davide said.

Admitting that illegal drugs are still a menace in the province, Davide said that this doesn't mean complacency in their part.

He lauded the efforts and initiatives of local government units in Cebu for their campaign against illegal drugs. In a recent regional peace and order meeting, 128 villages in Cebu were recommended to be declared as "drug-free."

Duterte on Wednesday said the drug problem in the Philippines has reached epidemic proportions, with Cebu province reportedly having the highest drug rate in the country.

"Cebu has the highest rate of --- hindi nila alam ‘to, for the first time sinasabi ko. Mag-abot siguro ng… Sabi ng nandiyan sa loob… But I think it’s about 60, 70. Mahirap tanggalin ang pera," Duterte said.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7 regional director Yogi Ruiz said their office is gathering lists of individuals who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

Ruiz said the supply of illegal drugs in Cebu has gone down. He said this resulted in a dramatic increase in the prices of "shabu."