VP Leni Robredo’s security beefed up
MANILA, Philippines — The security for Vice President Leni Robredo and her family has been tightened “as soon as she accepted” President Rodrigo Duterte’s designation of her as drug czar.
Atty. Barry Gutierrez, a spokesman of Robredo, confirmed this Wednesday but refused to divulge further details except underscoring the need for stepped-up security for the Vice President and her family as she took on the additional post of being co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“As soon as she accepted [the post], ini-step [up] ‘yong kanyang personal security, ‘yong security ng kanyang pamilya at ang opisina. But obviously I cannot go into any details,” Gutierrez told reporters during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(As soon as she accepted [the post], her personal security has been stepped-up, the security of her family and office, But obviously I cannot go into any details.)
“She is now tasked with leading the government’s anti-drug efforts, obviously there are threats, yes,” he added.
It was only last week that Robredo accepted Duterte’s drug czar offer. As ICAD co-chair, Robredo will supervise the anti-drug campaign of the government together with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino, also co-chair of the committee.
Her new task would expectedly pit her against big-time drug lords especially that she seeks to focus the anti-drug campaign on the elimination of illegal drug sources.
Gutierrez also said it is unlikely for Robredo to physically join actual anti-drug operations since her presence there would only distract law enforcers.
“Syempre hindi mo siya pwedeng pabayaan doon […] ako feeling ko hindi rin naman realistic expectation na si VP, who is designated by the President (Rodrigo Duterte), magbu-bullet proof vest at kukuha ng baril at siya ‘yong mangunguna sa raid,” he explained.
(Of course you cannot just leave her alone there… For me, I feel that it is not a realistic expectation for the VP, who is designated by the President, to wear bullet-proof vest and take a gun and lead the raid.)
“Pero kung operational command ‘yan, kung sa command center ‘yan, she gives a briefing, gustong-gusto niya ‘yon,” he added. “In fact, ‘yong meeting niya on Thursday, it’s one of the things na pag-uusapan.”
(But if it’s for operational command, if it’s in the command center, she gives a briefing, shw would want that. In fact, her meeting on Thursday, it’s one of the things that will be discussed.)
Gutierrez noted that not being physically present during anti-drug operations would not hinder Robredo from knowing the real situation on the ground.
“Hindi naman obviously mangyayari ‘yon ‘di ba? (That obviously won’t happen right?) She wants to have a full understanding kung paano nagha-handle ‘yong operations (how operations ang are beign handled),” he said.
“She wants to talk to actual law enforcement officials engaged in risking their lives […] but she will do so in a way na hindi naman mako-compromise ‘yong (that will not compromise the) integrity ng (of the) operation, hindi nakaka-distract (that won’t distract),” he added.
During Robredo’s first meeting with ICAD, Aquino challenged her to join anti-drug operations to see first hand how law enforcers carry them out in a bid to dispel suspicions of irregularities.
Robredo eagerly agreed but she eventually pondered whether her presence would just distract government operatives.
Edited by KGA
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