Robredo: DDB should lead ICAD, not PDEA
MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) should be managed by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and not the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
This was the suggestion of Vice President Leni Robredo, who made public on Monday her findings on the Duterte administration’s drug war. Robredo’s report was based on her observations during her short stint as co-chairperson of ICAD.
For Robredo, DDB should take ICAD’s helm because it has the capacity to craft policies that would engage all member-agencies of the inter-agency committee – unlike PDEA.
“(N)irerekomenda ko na ilipat sa Dangerous Drugs Board ang chairmanship ng ICAD. Ang DDB ang mas may kakayahang magplano ng pangkalahatang mga programa kung saan tutulong ang bawat miyembro ng ICAD,” she said during a press conference.
(I am recommending that the chairmanship of ICAD be transferred to DDB. DDB is more capable of planning an overall program where each member of ICAD will help.)
“Kung sila ang pinuno ng ICAD, magiging mas balanse ang kampanya at lahat ng aspeto ay matutugunan,” she added.
(If DDB is leading ICAD, the campaign would be more balanced and all aspects will be addressed.)
According to Robredo, PDEA’s leadership of ICAD does not involve an across-the-board approach as it only focuses on law enforcement.
“‘Pag PDEA kasi law enforcement, ‘yon siguro ‘yong isang failure ng ICAD dahil ‘yong chairmanship niya binigay sa PDEA, talagang ‘yong pagka-lopsided in favor of enforcement napaka-laki. Sa DDB, ang tingin namin ang perspektibo mas malawak,”she added.
(PDEA was more on law enforcement, maybe that’s the failure of ICAD because the chairmanship was given to PDEA that the policy was more on enforcement. If it’s DDB, we think the perspective would be broader.)
Robredo’s report was an offshoot of her nearly 20 days as a co-chair of ICAD, during which she had the chance to talk with various officials and members involved in the operation of ICAD including PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino and DDB chair Catalino Cuy.
She said her suggestion to transfer ICAD’s chairmanship from PDEA to DDB was also borne out of her meetings with both agencies.
“Galing din sa karanasan ko sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa PDEA at sa DDB. ‘Yong DDB talaga ‘yong mas may capacity na mag-lead ng kampanya na sinisiguro na lahat ng aspeto nabibigyan ng atensyon,” she added.
(It was also sourced from my meetings and work with PDEA and DDB. The DDB is really the agency with the better capacity to lead the campaign while ensuring that other aspects would be given attention.)
To recall, Robredo and Aquino had a rough start at ICAD and eventually clashed regarding Oplan Tokhang. Aquino had expressed doubt about Robredo’s capability to serve as an ICAD co-chair.
In the same public report, Robredo called Duterte’s drug war as a “massive failure” since it barely scratched the surface of the society’s drug problem despite all the money and resources given to it by the administration.
Robredo said that if it were an exam the Duterte administration would have scored poorly at 1/100 since it only managed to curtail a measly 1% of the total projected illegal drugs and drug money exchanged on the streets. She insisted there is a need to change the government’s strategy to tackle the problem of illegal drugs.
Edited by KGA
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