Leni Robredo: Bicol region gripped by ‘big’ drug problem
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday confirmed that there’s a “large” drug problem in the Bicol region, including her hometown, Naga City.
“Malaki iyong problema dito. Noong congressman pa ako, I was chairman of the Regional Advisory Board ng PNP [Philippine National Police]. Isa talaga iyong drugs sa mga malalaking problema,” Leni Robredo, newly appointed anti-drug czar, told reporters in a chance interview.
[There is a big drug problem here [in Bicol]. Even when I was a Congressman, I was the chairman of the Regional Advisory Board of the PNP. The proliferation of drugs is one of the biggest problems.]
“Lalo iyong Naga, Legazpi, kasi ito iyong mga transshipment, iyong malalaking cities dito, malaki iyong problema,” Leni Robredo added.
[Especially Naga and Legazpi cities because this is the transshipment hub. These big cities have big drug problems.]
Leni Robredo said since she is now part of the anti-drug drive, she wants to know if the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs helped in decreasing the drug problem in the Bicol region.
Asked about the illegal drug transactions, Robredo said some intelligence reports showed that regular transportation methods are used for the delivery of illegal drugs such as bus, jeep and private cars. Robredo also cited that some illegal drugs are delivered through ports.
Robredo also noted that authorities must closely monitor the Bicol region due to its large drug problem.
“Gaya ng sinabi ko, iyong datos ko nakuha ko noong chairman pa ako ng Regional Advisory Council, na ano talaga siya, isang problema na kailangang tutukan. Naniniwala nga tayo na tama lang na isa siya sa mga priority ng pamahalaan, dahil problema talaga siya,” she said.
[As what I have said, the data that I received when I was chairman of Regional Advisory Council, that this is a problem that we should monitor. I believe that it is necessary for the government to make this region a priority because it really is problematic in terms of illegal drugs.]
In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed the idea of having Robredo as his successor, saying Naga City, Robredo’s hometown, is once a “hotbed” of shabu (crystal meth).
“I stand by my word that the hotbed of [shabu is Naga]. Kasi ‘yung brother-in-law niya ang nagdala ng drugs doon sa Bicol. Totoo ‘yan. Siyempre denial kayo. [Because her brother-in-law is delivering drugs in Bicol. That’s true. Of course, you’re in denial.],” Duterte said.
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