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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Abalos DID NOT resign as DILG chief

Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has resigned

YouTube channel BANAT KAPANIG TV 2024-04-20 False

There are no official announcements from the Department of Interior and Local Government that Abalos has resigned, nor did the secretary express in recent public statements that he intends to do so.

Amid doubts over the transparency of a recent multi-billion-peso drug haul in Batangas, a YouTube video claimed that Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has resigned. This is not true. Abalos is still Interior and Local Government Secretary. 

Uploaded on April 20, five days after the anti-drug operation took place, the video bore a clickbait headline that read:

KAPAPASOK LANG:NAG-RÉSÍGN na SAWAKAS! DILG ABALOS KUMPERMADO/ Grabe ang Nangyare Pres marcos BISTADO

(Just in: resigned finally! DILG Abalos confirmed/What happened was harsh, Pres Marcos was busted).”

Its thumbnail also bore the text: “SA WAKAS NAG-RESIGN NA. DILG ABALOS NAMA-ALAM NA SA PDEA (Finally resigned already. DILG Abalos bid goodbye to PDEA).” 

There are no official reports on this alleged resignation and Abalos himself has made no statement about vacating the office. 

In fact, a post from DILG’s official Facebook page showed that Abalos joined a youth environmental forum in Baguio City on April 22 where he spoke as interior chief.  

The erroneous video had shown no proof to support its claim but only played a voice clip from two anonymous narrators discussing alleged anomalies in an April 15 drug bust in Alitagtag, Batangas. 

Initially touted as the “biggest drug haul in Philippine history” with an estimated weight of over two tons and valued at P13.3 billion, figures for the confiscated narcotics changed twice in two days. 

On April 16, during an inspection of the drug haul, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said authorities had seized 1.8 tons of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and lauded the operation for being “bloodless.” 

(Related: Marcos government’s ‘bloodless’ drug war a lie)

A final inventory report from the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on April 17 further reduced the total volume of the confiscated shabu to 1.4 tons which reportedly costs around P9.68 billion.  

In a press briefing the next day, Abalos said there was “complete transparency” in the operation and claimed that the initial figures were a “face-value estimation made by experts from the PDEA during the presentation of the seized illegal drugs.” 

Uploaded by YouTube channel BANAT KAPANIG TV, the video has drawn over 61,700 interactions. Facebook users also reposted the link.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)