Pangilinan: From drug czar to co-chair? Are they afraid to give VP real power?
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan questioned the motive behind the designation of Vice President Leni Robredo as the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
The senator questioned if the move was indeed a strategy to fight prevalence of illegal drugs in the country or a move to silence Robredo.
“Malayo sa naunang pronouncement na itatalaga si VP bilang drug czar. Bakit biglang co-chair na lang? Takot ba sila na bigyan ng tunay na kapangyarihan si VP at baka masapawan sila o may tamaan?” Pangilinan said in a statement.
(This designation is far from the previous pronouncement that Robredo will be appointed as drug czar. Why co-chair all of a sudden? Are they afraid to give Robredo real power and maybe overshadow or cross someone?)
“Epektibong stratehiya laban sa naglipanang illegal drugs ba ang tunay na layunin nitong EO o epektibong stratehiya para ipitin at patahimikin ang Bise Presidente na tumututol sa araw-araw na patayan ng mahihirap habang pinapalusot ang mga ninja cops, ninja sa Customs, at mga sindikato ng droga?” he added.
(Is the real goal to impose an effective strategy against illegal drugs or impose an effective strategy to silence the Vice President who opposes the daily killings of those in poor communities while letting the ninja cops, ‘ninjas in Customs’, and drug syndicates slide by?)
Pangilinan said that the appointment may be accepted if the current framework of the drug war is “publicly discarded” for basing on “false assumptions” such as the treatment of drug addiction as a criminal issue and that drug users must be killed daily.
“Drug addiction is a health problem. It is largely rooted in poverty and inequality,” Pangilinan said.
“Hindi masosolusyunan ng pagtutok sa maliliit na drug user at pusher ang problema ng droga. At hindi masosolusyunan ng pagpatay ang problema ng gutom at kahirapan,” the senator added.
(The issue of illegal drugs cannot be solved by focusing on small drug users and pushers. Killings cannot solve either the problems of hunger and poverty.)
The senator said there are other issues that the government must focus on such as extending help to the victims of the recent Mindanao quakes, the issue of African Swine Flu in the country, and issues currently faced by farmers.
In Robredo’s appointment paper signed October 31, she shall serve as co-chairperson of ICAD until June 30, 2022, “unless sooner revoked.”
Robredo’s designation came after President Rodrigo Duterte offered Robredo to be his drug czar and “surrender” his power in enforcing the government’s war on drugs for six months. /je
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