Robredo refuses ‘unfair’ tag; asks critics to read her drug war report
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday rejected remarks that she was being “unfair” on her findings of the drug war, prodding detractors to read her 40-page report.
Robredo said her report clearly commended in her report the creation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and also acknowledged the efforts of the committee and its members to curb illegal drug trade in the country.
“May mga nagsasabi na hindi binibigyan ng recognition ‘yong mga magagandang nangyari. In fact, if you read the report, nando’n ‘yon. Talagang sinasabi na marami namang mabuting ginawa, pero ito ‘yong mga nakita nating pagkukulang, ito ‘yong mga deperensya,” she said during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(There are those saying that the accomplishments were not given recognition. In fact, if you read the report, it’s there. There are really a lot of accomplishment but we also saw deficiencies, these are the defects.)
“‘Pag sinabing ‘unfair’ ito doon sa mga ginagawa nang mahusay ang kanilang trabaho, ‘yon nandoon sa report, in fact ang pinaka-sadya ng report, ma-protect ‘yong mga institutions, ma-recognize ‘yong mga kabutihan na mga ginagawa, at ma-penalize ‘yong mga tao na nagpapasama sa institusyon,” she added.
(But it’s been said that this is unfair to those who are doing their job well, but it’s in there in the report, in fact the goal of this report is to protect those institutions, recognize the good things that were done at penalize those people who are wrecking the institution.)
Robredo did not mention it directly, but it was Manila Mayor Isko Moreno who told ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday that the Vice President was being unfair to President Rodrigo Duterte and the drug war.
“I think with that, you have to give an ‘A’ for the effort, kasi hindi ‘yan biro,” Moreno said. “It is quite unfair for the effort being done because nobody tried to confront this, except President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Parang unfair naman ‘yon sa (It seems unfair for the) enforcement unit who are putting their lives on the line.”
In the report made public on Monday, one of the things Robredo noted was that ICAD’s creation was “a step in the right direction” although she also pointed out that its potential has not been maximized due to lack of strategic leadership.
“With the creation of the ICAD, national government agencies were provided a platform to collaborate in order to holistically pursue the campaign against illegal drugs,” Robredo said in her report.
“However, silos remain, as evidenced by the lack of common targets and unified procedures. Some agencies have taken proactive roles, while others have operated largely on the level of compliance,” it added.
Administration supporters have been chiding the Vice President after she said that the Duterte administration’s drug war is a failure despite all the money and resources provided for the campaign since 2016.
This, she noted, was because the drug war hardly scratched the surface of the country’s illegal drug problem since it was not able to significantly constrict the drug supply and drug money.
Citing 2019 data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police, Robredo said only 1,344 kilograms of shabu were seized from January to October last year, which represents a small number compared to estimates that 156,000 kilograms of illegal drugs are being consumed annually in the country.
As government officials questioned where she obtained the numbers, Robredo said they used official data in all but one recommendation.
Duterte appointed Robredo as drug czar – specifically as a co-chair of ICAD – on October 31, 2019. Robredo formally accepted the appointment on November 6 but was fired less than 20 days later as Duterte got irked after she talked to foreign organizations about his brutal war on drugs in an effort to step up coordination for a more effective drive against illegal drugs.
Edited by KGA
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