Robredo meets with UN officials to push for health-based anti-drug campaign

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019   •   153

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is pushing for a stronger, community-based drug rehabilitation program as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

Robredo believes that the community has an important role to play in solving the illegal drug menace in the country.

The meeting identified all existing and effective anti-drug programs that other countries have been implementing which can be applied also in the Philippines.

“One of the key learnings of the experiences of other countries is the emphasis on the public health approach and how that can be given equal importance together with the law enforcement approach,” explained USec. Philip Dy of the Office of the Vice President.

Prior to this, Robredo convened the core members of the Community Based Drug Rehab Alliance (COBRA) in an initial attempt to involve the private sector in the government’s war against illegal drugs.

Based on data, 90 percent of drug dependents across the country can be considered ‘occasional users’ who need help from the community.

Robredo is expected to meet again with member agencies of ICAD for follow-ups in the coming days. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

VP Robredo no significant contribution to PH anti-drug war – PDEA Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has contributed nothing significant to the country’s anti-drug campaign, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino.

This, despite Robredo’s brief appointment as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“She did not in any way supervise our people down there in the fields,” Aquino said.

“So I guess wala namang nabago o wala namang dapat glaring issues na makikita natin na talagang bumababa ang krimen o bumababa ang accomplishments natin sa drugs,” he added.

Aquino believes that Robredo could have understood the state and the scope of the illegal drug menace in the country if she had met with the different clusters of ICAD before she proceeded to establishing international connections such as with the US Embassy and the United Nations officials.

Aquino said, the Vice President only met with the enforcement cluster during her stay in ICAD.

“Should she met the four clusters, mas magiging malaki ang kaniyang scope of knowledge kung ano ang drug situation ng Pilipinas, Aquino noted.

“And maybe after meeting the four clusters, sana kung mayroon man siyang ma-i-implement na program or strategy to strengthen the ICAD, sana nagawa,” the PDEA Director General said.

Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, advised her critics to wait for the release of her recommendations and her own report on the status of the drug situation in the country.

“She’ll deliver (her) report soon. I suggest we just wait for that,” her spokesman. Atty. Barry Gutierrez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Robredo as the anti-drug czar for her ‘missteps’ in handling her position. The PDEA together with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is now working on the creation of an official database of drug pushers and user in the country which is expected to be released in 2020. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte dares Robredo to expose alleged discovery in PH drug war

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and Vice President Leni Robredo (L)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has dared Vice President Leni Robredo to speak up and expose what she claimed as her discoveries in the government’s war on drugs during her short stay as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“You seem to be na may impormasyon ka, ilabas mo, (You seem to have information, then expose it),” the President said emphatically.

Duterte dismissed Robredo from her post exactly 18 days after he appointed her to the position because the latter’s recent actions and public statements displeased the President especially her communications with officials of the United States and the United Nations.

After her dismissal, Robredo warned to expose what she knows about the controversial anti-drug program.

“Sa mga susunod na araw magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at ang aking mga rekomendasyon,” Robredo said at a press briefing the day after she was fired on November 25.

(In the coming days, I will give a report to the people. I will speak of what I have discovered as well as my recommendation.)

“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” she added.

(If they think it will end here, then they don’t know me. This is just the beginning.)

But the President was unfazed by this warning.

He made certain that Robredo was having communications with former Human Rights Watch Asia Head Phelim Kine whom the President considers as among the critics of the government being a prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“You talked to almost all people instead of talking to the law enforcement, instead of talking to the barangay captain, instead of talking to people handling the rehabilitation,” he said referring to Robredo.

“I should say, she made an asshole of herself,” the President stressed.

Kine vocally expressed his willingness to go to Manila to help the Vice President in her programs and suggested the arrest of President Duterte and his cohorts because of the alleged human rights violations in the government’s anti-drug campaign. — MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Robredo after boot from drug war: ‘I am just getting started’

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019

A handout photo made available by the Office of the Vice President shows Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo delivering a statement regarding her removal as co-chair of the country’s Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, in San Fernando, Camarines Sur province, Philippines 25 November 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said she is just getting started after President Rodrigo Duterte booted her from the government’s anti-drug body more than two weeks after she accepted the appointment.

In a press conference in Naga, Camarines Sur, Robredo assured that her firing as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD) will not dampen her determination to end the killings under the government’s war on drugs.

“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” Robredo told reporters hours after Malacañang officials confirmed her removal from the position.

“Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang tinanggap ko ang hamon na pamunuan ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang aking isinantabi ang napakaraming babala para pasanin ko ang trabahong halos imposible ay kailangan kong subukan para sa ating mga kababayan,” she added.

She continued with: “Hindi ako nagsayang ng oras, nakipag-pulong agada ko sa ICAD at sa iba’t ibang ahensiya. Kinonsulta natin ang iba’t ibang mga sektor. Pumunta tayo s amga komunidad. Nakipag-pulong tayo sa mga LGUs (local government units). Binisita natin ang mga rehab centers.”

“Pero nagsimula agad ang mga atake. Walang tigil ang pagbabatikos. Mahina raw ako sa krimen. Huwag daw akong makialam sa pulis. Hindi na raw ako mapagkakatiwalaan. Pinagtulung-tulungan at pinagkaisahan ako para hindi magtagumpay.”

It can be recalled that Duterte designated Robredo as ICAD’s co-chair on Oct. 31. She accepted the post on Nov. 6, saying her primary consideration in accepting the task was to promote a bloodless campaign against illegal drugs, as well as improve the program.

While she was the campaign’s co-lead, she met with agencies comprising the government’s anti-drug body, as well as officials from the United States government and the United Nations and other groups.

Several days later, Duterte expressed his distrust of Robredo over the supposed ‘missteps’ she took by talking to groups that are critical of his campaign.

On Nov. 24, Malacañang announced that Duterte has removed Robredo as ICAD’s co-chair.

“Kung pareho naman ang ating layunin, bakit hindi na lang tayo magtulungan? Hindi ba talaga sila seryoso sa laban? O may interes ba tayong nabangga?” she asked.

“Mr. President, hindi ko hiningi ang posisyong ito. Pero sineryoso ko ang trabahong ipinasa ninyo,” she added.

Robredo vowed that her termination from ICAD won’t silence her nor stop her determination in putting an end to senseless killings.

“Kahit tinanggalan ako ng posisyon, hinding-hindi nila kayang tanggalin ang aking determinasyon. Determinasyong itigil ang patayan, panagutin ang kailangang managot, at ipanalo ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” she said.

“Sa mga susunod na araw magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at ang aking mga rekomendasyon,” she further stated.

Malacañang earlier said the president fired Robredo in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan, to just fire the vice president from her post.

“This is also in response to the taunt and dare of VP Robredo for the president to just tell her that he wants her out,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Allan Manansala)

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