Dela Rosa tells Robredo: ‘This is war… hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute dito’
MANILA, Philippines — “This is war, giyera ito; you have to fight, hindi ka pwedeng pacute-cute dito (you can’t play cute here).”
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa gave this piece of advice to Vice President Leni Robredo, who recently accepted an additional task from President Rodrigo Duterte as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Dela Rosa, also known as the architect of the Duterte administration’s bloody drug war, said Robredo “has to be tough” now that she has joined the anti-drug campaign.
“Ang sinalihan niya is war on drugs at ang kalaban mo diyan ay mga sira ulo, ang kalaban mo diyan ay malalaking sindikato. So how can you wage a war without fighting? So, she has to fight,” Dela Rosa told reporters at the Senate.
(She joined the war on drugs and the enemies there are crazies, the enemies are big syndicates. So how can you wage a war without fighting? So, she has to fight.)
“She has to be tough,” he added.
Robredo, in a press briefing, said that one of the things she considered in accepting the position was the lives she could potentially save if she would be involved in efforts to fight the proliferation of drugs in the country.
“Kung maiwasan ang killings, iwasan (If we can avoid killings, avoid). Pero (But) how do you… war na ito eh (this is already a war), kalaban natin eh mga siraulo (we are against kooks), kalaban natin mga aramado (we are against armed people). Kita mo ‘yung pulis (Look at the police), 120 plus policemen namatay sa (were killed in this) war on drugs, so mamatay ba ‘yun kung walang lumalaban (so would those cops be killed if there’s no resistance), may lumalaban talaga (but there’s resistance),” Dela Rosa went on.
As he welcomed Robredo’s decision to accept Duterte’s offer, the senator also advised the Vice President to treat the drug problem as a social problem and not a political one.
“You look at the problem, not as a political problem. ‘Wag mo siyang tignan na politika itong problema na ito, tignaan mo talaga ito as a social problem (Do not look at it as a political problem, you should really look at it as a social problem),” he said.
Asked to explain why he thinks Robredo could taint the anti-drug campaign with political color, Dela Rosa said: “What do you expect? She comes from the other side of the fence.”
“Sa opposition siya so sana pagpasok niya diyan sa giyera na ‘yan, i-assume niya ang role niya as ‘Ako’y isang Pilipino, gusto kong linisin ang aking bansa sa droga.’ Hindi papasok na ‘Ako’y isang opposition, babantayan ko ‘yung mga ginagawa ng administrasyon na ito, kung anong mali haharangin ko’,” he added.
(She’s from the opposition so hopefully as she enters the war on drugs, she assumes the role as ‘I am a Filipino, I want to rid the country of illegal drugs.’ Not as ‘I am an opposition, I will be guarding against what this administration is doing, whatever is wrong I will block’.”)
Nevertheless, Dela Rosa said he is optimistic that the drug war would become “more successful” with Robredo “on board.”
“Isipin mo, number two highest official in the country sumama sa ating war on drugs. So, I’m so happy. From the bottom of my heart, I thank her for joining in this fight,” he said.
(Come to think of it, number two nighest official in the country joined in our war on drugs. So, I’m so happy. From the bottom of my heart, I thank her for joining in this fight.)
“I’m very optimistic, mas lalong magiging successful ‘yung ating war on drugs with her on board dahil additional perspective on the war on drugs, the more the merrier,” he added.
(I’m very optimistic that our war on drugs will be more successful with her on board because she could give an additional perspective on the war on drugs, the more the merrier.)