DILG expects Robredo to be ‘more of a partner than a critic’ of drug war now
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo should now consider herself “more of a partner rather than a critic” of the Duterte administration’s drug war as she already accepted her new task as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs, and Communication, explained that now that Robredo is part of ICAD, she would be able to use facts as grounds for her criticism instead of declaring “baseless allegations.”
“Our understanding is since she has accepted that position, she is there to work positively with the members of the ICAD. I think when you join an organization, you should not consider yourself a critic anymore. When you join an organization, you should consider yourself more of a partner rather than a critic,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
He said that as co-chairperson of ICAD, Robredo will now be able to make informed criticism on the campaign against illegal drugs.
“That is the difference from criticizing from the outside and criticizing from inside,” he also said.
Asked what he thinks Robredo got wrong in her criticism of the administration’s drug war campaign, Malaya cited the death toll being mentioned by the Vice President. According to him, Robredo’s figures are not grounded on facts.
Based on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency data, 5,525 suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations from July 2016 up to June 2019. But human rights groups claim the actual number could be more than 27,000 to include deaths under investigation.
“The numbers being floated around are unreasonable and unfair to the law enforcement agencies who are putting their lives on the line every day,” Malaya pointed out.
He then said members of ICAD see the chairmanship of Robredo as an opportunity to “brief her with the facts and on the reality on the ground.” /kga
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