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As she takes on new role in government's war on drugs

Lacson says Robredo ‘should watch her back all the time’

/ 12:11 PM November 09, 2019

Update @ 1:02 a.m., Nov. 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — “She should really watch her back all the time.”

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson gave this advice to Vice President Leni Robredo as she took on a new role in the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

“What she got into, of course, there would be a lot of characters, especially within the police force. There’s a lot of different characters there. So, she should really watch her back all the time,” Lacson, speaking partly in Filipino, told Senate reporters in a phone patch interview on Saturday.

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The senator said he met with Robredo on Friday morning before she held her first meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), which she now co-chairs with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.

READ: Robredo accepts Duterte’s drug czar post

READ: Robredo, Lacson to meet, discuss war on drugs

Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, also advised Robredo to “develop her own people” within the anti-drug body.

“What I would suggest is that she should develop her own people who could be trusted — and it entails a lot of study… In the performance of her duty, she would know who are credible and trustworthy,” he said.

“She should just develop her own people within the law enforcement sector that can provide her with intelligence information or observe what is wrong with police officers who have lost their way,”

VP in drug ops?

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Earlier, Aquino challenged Robredo to join anti-drug operations so that she could see for herself any lapses committed by law enforcers.

READ: PDEA’s Aquino dares Robredo to join drug stings; VP calls it

But Lacson raised the possibility of compromising operations should the country’s second highest official join law enforcers “from start to finish.”

“The operation will be compromised if the VP would accompany law enforcers from start to finish. Just from security alone. There’s security everywhere. The operation will be telegraphed. But they could make some arrangements on how to go about that,” he said.

“But from briefing up to the jumpoff and then during the operation itself you can’t let the VP, the second highest official in the country, you can’t put her life in danger if she would go there. But maybe that’s not what they meant,” he added.

Open line

Lacson, meanwhile, said he was willing to give Robredo advice or provide her with the information she would need to have a better grasp on the country’s illegal drug problem.

“Whenever sought for advice, I’m available. But not on a regular basis,” he said.

“I’m in the legislative. She’s in the executive. It could not be formal,” the senator said when asked if Robredo had requested for him to become her adviser. “But we agreed that there would be an open line. And anytime she wants to ask me or wants to clarify some things, there’s an open line of communication between us.”

/muf /atm

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TAGS: Drug war, Leni Robredo, Panfilo Lacson
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