Robredo to Jimenez: seize chance to correct past wrongs in drug war
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday she wished the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) would be able to solve the several problems she encountered during her stint, with the appointment of its new co-chairperson, anti-crime advocate Dante Jimenez.
According to Robredo, who held the ICAD co-chair post for just 19 days, there were several issues that she faced, like the lack of baseline data on the drug war progress and confusing targets.
These issues were not solved due to Robredo’s short term stint in the committee.
“Sana may acceptance noong pagkukulang noong nauna. Sana moving forward, maging data-driven na, maging evidence-based iyong pagdesisyon, para nakikita natin kung ano talaga iyong pangangailangan base sa kung ano iyong datos na nandiyan,” she told reporters in Tanay, Rizal.
“Mahabang panahon, three years, na ginawa iyong kampanya against illegal drugs nang hindi klaro iyong datos, hindi klaro iyong metrics, hindi klaro iyong targets. So ito, pagkakataon para wastuhin iyong pagkakamali in the past,” she added.
Prior to leading PACC, Jimenez — a staunch supporter of President Duterte — was also the founding chairman of private group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
The appointment papers were supposedly signed by Duterte last February 21.
Jimenez was appointed to the post months after Duterte fired Robredo, for allegedly talking to organizations already rebuked by the government. During her ICAD stint, the Vice President advocated for the scrapping of the police’s Oplan Tokhang, and the strengthening of community-based rehabilitation efforts.
Robredo also said that she hopes the new ICAD leadership would use her findings, although she promised not to be pushy about it.
After she was fired from the ICAD spot, Robredo released a 40-page summary of her findings while in the position. She claimed that the war against illegal drugs was a massive failure as authorities were able to constrict only one percent of shabu and drug money entering the country annually.
She also insisted that the data came from official estimates of the Philippine National Police and PDEA.
“Hindi ko ipagpipilitan iyong findings namin; nasa sa kaniya iyon kung gagamitin iyon. Pero mayroon na siyang pag-uumpisahan. Mayroon na siyang pag-uumpisahan kasi iyong ginawa namin walang politika involved, iyong ginawa namin base sa kung ano iyong sitwasyon sa panahon na in-appoint tayo,” Robredo said.
(I would not force into them our findings, it is up to them whether they would use it. But definitely, they will start with something, because what we did, never involved politics, it was just based on the situation when we were appointed.)
“Sana iyong pagharap ng bagong responsibility, i-set aside iyong politika, kasi oras na politika iyong paandarin, wala tayong aasahan na kabutihan na mangyayari,” she added.
(I hope in the face of this new responsibility, politics would be set aside, because once they start having political motives, they cannot expect anything good to happen.)
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