Busted: Arroyo ‘lies’ about drug user figures to get more power for Duterte’s war on drugs

Former president, now House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed a bill seeking to give President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to resolve the problems of drugs and terrorism in the country.

She filed House Bill 3684 on September 20, which proposes to authorize Duterte, within the bounds of the Philippine Constitution, to have the necessary powers to get rid of drugs and terrorism.

Her bill’s explanatory note said, “The Philippines is currently suffering from a national emergency, involving drugs, terrorism, lawlessness, which threatens the very life of the nation and our people.” The note also included numbers such as the 27% national drug proliferation rate; 3.7 million illegal drug users; and 1% of the Philippines’ total population affected by drugs is the youth.

The note also included the 2011 United Nations world drug report, touting that 94% of the barangays within Metro Manila were affected by illegal drugs.

However, Facebook user Bernard Ong protested against Arroyo’s figures and called her out for lying about those figures.


“Gloria Arroyo is sponsoring a bill which seeks more powers for Duterte’s War-on-Drugs. Her premise is wrong. The bill cites “3.7m illegal drug users nationwide” to dramatize the threat & justify extraordinary powers,” Ong wrote in his Facebook post.

He noted how Arroyo has been using the same lie that Duterte has been using throughout his campaign against drugs.

“She is using a big lie – 3.7m drug users – to give the president extraordinary powers. Same lie Duts has been retelling without any factual basis. Duts actually switches between 3 numbers – 3m, 3.7m and 4m. All those numbers are false,” he added.

Ong, based on the Dangerous Drugs Board Survey, refuted Duterte and Arroyo’s numbers.

“There are only 1.8m drug users nationwide. This is based on the only validated official government figure – Dangerous Drugs Board 2015 Survey. This is only slightly higher than the 2008 figure of 1.7m users. As a proportion of the population, drug use actually dropped from 1.88% in 2008 to 1.78% in 2015. Both figures are well below the UN global drug use estimate of 5.2%,” Ong said.

He also said that the Philippines is not suffering from a drug epidemic, a sharp increase in the number of drug users, hence no factual basis for giving Duterte emergency powers and for Duterte’s war on drugs.

Ong also said that peddling the wrong data will affect legislation and the Filipino population negatively, seeing as how the cops might try to arrest 1.9 million innocent Filipinos.

“Wrong data creates the risk of coming up with wrong legislation. Wrong data also puts millions of innocent lives at risk. Ff there are only 1.8m users, while Duterte has a kill-or-surrender target of 3.7m users – this means 1.9m innocent Filipinos could be killed or jailed because of wrong assumptions,” he said.

Both Arroyo and Duterte “are lying for political purposes,” said Ong.


“Both politicians – GMA and Duts – are lying for political purposes. GMA lies to position herself for premiership under federal system. Duts lies to destroy institutional checks-and-balances & pave the way for authoritarian rule,” he said.

He slammed what he dubbed as “War-on-Facts” to justify the government’s campaign against drugs.

Ong also urged people to share the truth to fight against the politicians’ War-on-Facts.

“Facts cannot fight back by themselves. Share & talk about these to get the truth out.That is our best weapon against these politicians’ War-on-Facts,” Ong said.


Sources: (,,

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