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Robredo’s recommendations on drug war ‘generally acceptable’ — Guevarra

/ 09:37 AM January 08, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The assessment of Vice President Leni Robredo on the government’s drug war may have raised the eyebrows of Malacañang and law enforcement agencies, but as for Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, her recommendations are generally “acceptable.”

“I have not read completely her report. I just know about the recommendations she made, for example, the change in the chairmanship of the ICAD (Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs). Many of them generally are alright, except that we need a lot of more fleshing to the recommendations. But in general, they are acceptable,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday.

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Guevarra, who earlier described the firing of Robredo as co-chairperson of ICAD in November as a “lost opportunity,” also said that her proposal to allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to directly prosecute drug-related money laundering offenders is a “good suggestion.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the lead agency in the ICAD’s justice cluster.

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Saying that the Duterte administration’s drug war was a “massive failure,” Robredo in her report on Monday had proposed that the Philippine National Police scrap the Oplan Tokhang and instead leave drug interventions requiring house visits on drug suspects to the local Anti-Drug Abuse Councils and the Anti-Drug Abuse Offices.

Among her other recommendations were to have the Dangerous Drugs Board lead the ICAD instead of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, allow civil society groups and local government units to be part of the committee, separate drug users from pushers in processing arrests and surrenders, and provide clear and updated numbers on drug-related killings, both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style murder incidents.

Meanwhile, Guevarra also asserted that as a member of the ICAD, the success rate of the DOJ in prosecuting drug-related cases was pegged at 80 percent.

“If you include the pre bargaining cases where the accused would admit that they, in fact, committed something but not the one charged but something lower than that, that would be considered a conviction. If we include this plea bargaining cases, the conviction rate would be something like 80 percent,” he explained.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: DoJ, Drug war, Leni Robredo, Menardo Guevarra
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