Duterte welcomes Robredo’s acceptance of drug czar post
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed the acceptance of Vice President Leni Robredo to be his drug czar.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte made the remark during the 43rd Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night.
“[T]he President mentioned it was good that Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo accepted his formal offer to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD),” Panelo said in a statement Thursday.
In a televised speech Wednesday, Robredo accepted Duterte’s offer to be co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo said that “[i]n the end, the most important consideration for me was simple: If this is the chance to stop the killing of innocent people and put accountability on those responsible behind drug crimes, then I will bear it.”
Panelo verbally invited Robredo to attend the Cabinet meeting but the opposition stalwart missed the event due to a prior engagement.
Panelo said the Duterte Cabinet will fully support Robredo, who earlier criticized the current administration’s war on drugs.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said 5,526 mostly poor Filipinos were killed in the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations since 2016.
“With the Vice President at the helm of the anti-narcotics campaign, President Duterte expects that the former would see the realities on the ground, particularly with respect to the government’s position against extrajudicial or state-sponsored killings, and understand that deaths occur due to the violent reactions on the part of agents of the illegal drug trade against the strict enforcement of the law,” Panelo said./gsg
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