Robredo all the more motivated to solve drug problem after removal from ICAD
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said her removal as Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chair only furthered her desire to solve the drug problem in the country.
During a meeting with members of the Mothers Against Drug Abuse in Naga City, she promised to work even harder despite being stripped of the position in the government’s anti-drug body.
“So ngayon, kahit wala na ako sa posisyon, hindi naman nangangahulugan na wala na tayong magagawa. Mas lalo tayong ginaganahan dahil nakita na natin kung ano iyong pagkukulang,” she told the group members.
(For now, even if I’m no longer in the position, it doesn’t mean that I cannot do anything anymore. I was all the more inspired because I already saw what’s lacking.)
“Bakit natin kailangang tumulong? Kasi ang problema sa drugs, problema ng lahat –lalo ng mga nanay, ano? Kaya hindi puwedeng sabihin natin na bahala na diyan iyong PNP, ‘di ba? Ang kailangan sabihin natin, ‘May problema, kaya lahat kami tutulong’,” she added.
(Why do we need to help? Because the problem of drugs is everybody’s problem – especially of mothers, right? That’s why we cannot say that we’ll leave it to the PNP, right? What we need to say is that ‘There is a problem, and all of us would help’.)
On November 24, Malacañang said that President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Robredo from her ICAD post. Duterte earlier said he distrusts the Vice President.
Duterte designated Robredo as a co-chair of ICAD on October 31, after he got frustrated with Robredo’s supposed call to stop the drug war. She later on clarified that she was only seeking a reassessment of the drug campaign, citing that illegal drugs remain prevalent in the country despite claiming the lives of thousands of people in the name of the Duterte administration’s drug war.
In her 18 days as ICAD co-chair, Robredo talked with various stakeholders, including community-based drug rehabilitation centers, foreign officials of the United Nations and the United States, lay groups, local government units, and ICAD member-agencies.
She also called on ICAD to stop the senseless killings, including a proposal to replace Oplan Tokhang, the Philippine National Police’s prime anti-drug program.
Further, Robredo advocated for the production of baseline data on the drug war and urged other localities to copy good practices of local government units such as Quezon City and Dinalupihan in Bataan.