PDEA chief asks Leni Robredo: ‘Why need a list of high-value drug targets?’
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino said Friday there is no need for Vice President Leni Robredo to obtain a list of high-value targets as she had reportedly requested.
Aquino said he heard that Leni Robredo made the request during her meeting with the law enforcement cluster of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) on Thursday.
“Meron atang hinihingi na lists. One example ‘yung list ng high-value targets. So I think, nag-iisip naman ako bakit kailangan niya in the first place. Wala naman sa mandates namin ‘yun, na kailangan kumuha ng listahan ng high-value targets,” he said in a phone interview.
(She was asking for the lists. For example, the list of high-value targets. So I think why would she need it in the first place? It is not in our mandate that we should get a list of high-value targets.)
“Why are you getting the list of drug addicts na you are just, iniisip ko kasi (I am thinking) we are just — kasi co-chairperson ko siya (because she is my co-chairperson) — just presiding a committee that is ICAD. Hindi ko maintindihan (I cannot understand) what is the list for, why is she asking all these things,” he added.
“Sa palagay ko hindi nararapat na kumuha ng listahan unless may rason para kunin ‘yung watchlist ng drug addicts at high-value targets. I don’t know kung ano ang reason niya,” he also said.
(I think we should not get that list unless she has a reason for getting the watchlist of drug addicts and high-value targets. I don’t know what her reason is.)
Leni Robredo recently accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment to be the co-chair of ICAD, sitting alongside with Aquino.
During Leni Robredo’s Thursday meeting with the ICAD cluster, Robredo also asked member-agencies of committee to produce a clear baseline data on the campaign against illegal drugs by yearend. These are numbers in the early stages of the drug war in 2016, including drug users, surrenderees, arrested persons, court cases, and drug dependents undergoing rehabilitation.
Aquino revealed that his working relationship with Robredo in the ICAD is “so far, okay,” and that it is normal to have some disagreements on certain issues, including her suggestion to scrap “Oplan Tokhang,” the flagship strategy of the Philippine National Police in the drug war.
“Generally wala namang problema. Madali siyang kausap, magaan kasama. Lahat naman makukuha sa usapan (there is no problem. She is good to talk to and is light to be with. Everything can be handled through a good conversation),” the PDEA chief said.
“I guess sa umpisa lang naman ‘yun na medyo naiilang ang bawat isa, pero eventually magiging comfortable kami sa isa’t-isa (it’s just on the start that there will be some awkwardness on everyone, but eventually we will be comfortable with each other) on the latter part sa (of) ICAD conferences,” he added.
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