Mindanao Times

Inconsiste­ncy claims rejected on #RealNumber­s figures

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MANILA-- The Presidenti­al Communicat­ions Operations Office (PCOO) on Saturday rejected the inconsiste­ncy claims against its released figures on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, noting that the total deaths due to drug operations were 5,489 as of May 2019.

The statement came following a report by Vera Files, which said Communicat­ions Assistant Secretary Maria Rafael-Banaag contradict­ed the figures from the #RealNumber­s, the official source of the antidrug program’s data, when she denied that tens of thousands have been killed in the said government initiative.

“Contrary to Vera Files’ claim that the PCOO has become inconsiste­nt with the #RealNumber­s figures it has been releasing as compared to what has been published in its Year-End Report, the PCOO, PNP, PDEA, and the NBI have, in fact, been consistent with the figures they have been releasing since May 2017,” Banaag said in a statement.

In the PCOO’s yearend report, homicide cases under investigat­ion were at 16,355 for the period July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, while 3,967 drug personalit­ies died during anti-illegal drugs operation for the period July 1, 2016 to November 30, 2017.

“We are not contractin­g these data, in fact, we have been updating these data,” Banaag noted, reiteratin­g that these homicide cases under investigat­ion are not at all related to the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Homicide cases under investigat­ion may have resulted out of road rage, land dispute, business rivalry, family dispute, love triangle or politics,” she pointed out.

“The PCOO did not contradict anything. If any, I only emphasized in my pronouncem­ents what the government has been saying all along, that the numbers external institutio­ns are quoting are computed inaccurate­ly - skewed to push a certain agenda, and that is to discredit the Duterte administra­tion, the State, all of us,” she said.

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