Santiago quits as Dangerous Drugs Board chairman: report
Dionisio Santiago has submitted his resignation as chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, radio station dzBB reported Tuesday.
Santiago, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, quit his post after he said that the million-peso drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija was a mistake as few drug addicts are there. He suggested that community rehabilitation centers should be built instead.
The Philippine government did not spend any amount for the construction of the mega drug rehabilitation center, which has the capacity of 10,000.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque last week said the government did not spend money for this.
"Well, as you know, the government did not spend for the mega rehab center. That was donated by a Chinese philantrophist," Roque said.
The construction of the P1-billion Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija was donated by Chinese billionaire Huang Rulun.
"While it's the opinion of the head of the Dangerous Drugs Board, our assurance is, no government fund was wasted," Roque said.
"That was a decision made by the donor and we can’t do anything about it. But we will certainly consider what the expert has said and in the future, if we are to invest public funds, we will pursue the strategy recommended by the head of the DDB," he added.
In his war on drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte has been quoting Santiago's figure that there were 3 million drug addicts in the country when the latter was head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. DMS