Robredo: More violence, killing won’t solve illegal drug problem
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday stressed that more violence and killings would not solve the country’s problem on illegal drugs.
She issued this remark a day after President Rodrigo Duterte warned that his administration’s war on drugs would be “harsher” and “bloodier” in the coming days.
In an interview following a program in Cebu City, Robredo said the government should learn from the last two and a half years when so many lives were sacrificed but the problem on illegal drugs is still unresolved.
“Hindi ba malaking proof ito na hindi naman violence, hindi naman pagpapatay iyong makakaresolba ng drug war?” she pointed out.
(Isn’t this big enough proof that it’s not violence, it’s not killing that would resolve the drug problem?)
According to Robredo, it would be better if the government would instead focus on catching the source of illegal drugs coming into the country from international drug cartels than merely going after small fry.
“Ang dami ngayong pumapasok na droga from international cartels. Bakit hindi iyon iyong pagtuunan natin ng pansin? Hindi iyong pinapatulan natin iyong mga maliliit, na iyong mga maliliit na mga gumagamit, dapat sana tingnan natin iyon na biktima,” she said.
(There are many drugs coming in from international cartels. Why not focus on them? And not go after the small ones, who are users, whom we should consider as victims.)
“Ang dapat sanang parusahan natin, iyong mga nagdadala ng mga droga dito sa Pilipinas. Ang tanong, bakit ba nakakapasok? Kasi kahit anong pagpatay iyong gagawin, hanggang may nakakapasok na droga, problema pa din iyong droga,” she added.
(Those that we are supposed to be punishing are those bringing the illegal drugs into the country. The question is, why are illegal drugs coming into the country? Because no matter how many killings should be done, if drugs still come in, the drug problem stays.)
Over the weekend, blocks of cocaine were found near the shores of Cagdianao town in Dinagat Island. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the illegal drugs amounting to 88 kilograms were confirmed to be cocaine, with global positioning system devices attached to each block.
However, Albayalde said their initial investigation showed the contraband was not intended for the Philippines. He said that it seemed the country merely serves as transshipment point.
Based on government data, more than 5,000 drug suspects were killed in various operations nationwide since Duterte took office on the afternoon of June 30, 2016.
Human rights group, however, estimated the number of Duterte’s drug war casualties at around 11,000 to 30,000. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.