Robredo spox hopes ICAD’s problems to be fixed with new co-chair
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has expressed hope that the problems hounding the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) would be solved with the appointment of a new co-chair.
Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said on Sunday they hope that Presidential Anti Corruption Commission chair Dante Jimenez’ designation as new ICAD head would bode well for the same committee that Robredo headed for 19 days last November 2019.
Jimenez is a known ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, even when he was still the chairperson of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
“Sana naman maayos na iyong mga ibang mga naging problema doon sa posisyon. Kasi mula simula sinasabi namin hindi nagkaroon ng malinaw na klaripikasyon, walang kasulatan, kung ano ba talaga iyong magiging tungkulin, ano iyong magiging kapangyarihan ng ICAD co-chair,” Gutierrez said in Robredo’s weekly radio program.
(We hope the problems with the position would be fixed. Because from the start, there was no clear clarification, no official documents saying what would be the role and power of the ICAD co-chair.)
“Kasi doon sa EO na binuo ng Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs o iyong ICAD, eh wala namang binanggit doon na co-chair talaga na posisyon, eh, so mula simula, iyon iyong aming sinasabi,” he added.
(Because in the EO that built the ICAD, there was no mention of the co-chair position, so ever since the start of the Vice President’s tenure, that’s what we were saying.)
Reports on Friday showed that Jimenez has been assigned by Duterte to lead the ICAD with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino. Last November, Robredo also had a controversial crack at the post, although she was fired for allegedly talking to organizations that the government had rebuked.
According to Gutierrez, they tried to clarify issues surrounding ICAD, like the legitimacy of the co-chair post as the Executive Order that created the committee did not open such position.
“At sa buong panahon na naupo si VP Leni sa posisyon na iyan, patuloy kaming humihingi ng paglilinaw o klaripikasyon mula sa Palasyo […] so sana ngayon ito ay isang panibagong pagkakataon para ayusin iyon dahil talagang magiging mas mahirap ang trabaho,” Gutierrez explained.
(And in the whole time that VP Leni was in that position, we continuously sought for a clarification from Malacañang, so we hope this is a new opportunity for people to fix the issue, because the task would be harder if it is not resolved.)
“Kahit sino man ang ilagay diyan, kung hindi magiging malinaw sa isang kasulatan kung papaano iyong magiging hatian sa tungkulin, sa trabaho noong dalawang chairperson ng ICAD. So siguro ito, isang pagkakataon para maayos iyon,” he added.
(Whoever is in that post, if the sharing of powers between the two ICAD co-chairpersons would not be clarified, it would be hard. So maybe this is a chance to fix that.)
During Robredo’s short stint, she advocated for a scrapping of Oplan Tokhang, the police’s primary anti-drug program; the creation of a baseline data on the drug war; and for the integration and strengthening of community-based rehabilitation centers.
After she was fired, Robredo deemed the drug war a “massive failure” as government was only able to constrict one percent of the shabu supply and drug money that enters the country annually, as per numbers of the Philippine National Police and PDEA.
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