If there is evidence that a presidential bets is a drug user, it must be revealed
MANILA, Philippines — Any evidence that would prove that a presidential aspirant is a drug user must be revealed so that cases can be filed, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Friday.
Robredo explained in an ambush interview in Lucena, Quezon province, that President Rodrigo Duterte — who claimed that one of the presidential aspirants is a cocaine user — may have access to documents that even other government officials cannot see.
However, she feels it should not be released in such a way that intrigue can be sown.
“Iyong sa akin lang, kung mayroong ebidensya, kailangang ilabas. Kung mayroong ebidensya, kailangang kasuhan kasi ito iyong nakasaad sa ating batas. Hindi dapat ito dinadaan sa ganitong paraan,” Robredo told reporters.
(For me, if there is evidence, it should be made public. If there is evidence, there should be cases filed under our laws. It should not be released in this manner.)
“I am sure iyong Presidente mayroong access sa maraming information na lahat tayo walang access. So siya iyong makakasagot kung ano iyong mga pruweba tungkol dito,” she added.
(I am sure that the President has access to a great deal of information that none of us here have. So it is him who could answer questions on this matter.)
However, Robredo was confident that the President was not referring to her.
“Ako, number one, siguradong hindi ako iyon. Number two, ayaw kong pumatol. Ayaw kong dagdagan,” she explained. “Para patulan pa, hindi na. Sigurado lang akong hindi ako iyon.”
(I’m not that person, number one, and number two. I don’t want to aggravate the situation by interfering in these talks. While I’m not sure who it is, I’m sure it’s not me.)
On Thursday, President Duterte stunned the nation by claiming that one of the presidential hopefuls is into cocaine, saying that he comes from a wealthy family, and is a weak leader compared to his father.
Robredo, who briefly headed the Inter-Agency Committee Against Drugs (ICAD) late 2019, said that it is hard for a president to rid the country of drugs if he or she is a drug user himself or herself.
For this purpose, Robredo said she favors proposals to have all candidates undergo a drug test.
“Pabor ako rito at dapat hindi siya nakaplano, dapat biglaan para hindi napapaghandaan,” she explained.
(I am in favor of that and it should not be announced, it should be random so those being tested cannot prepare for it.)
“Papaano kasi natin malalabanan iyong droga kung wala tayong moral authority para labanan ito? Kailangan iyong tao magtiwala sa amin. Hindi natin malalabanan iyong korapsyon kung ang nakaupo ay hindi malinis. Kaya kung lalabanan natin iyong droga, pinaka-una dapat iyong nagko-call the shots ay malinis,” she added.
(It is impossible to combat the drug problem if we do not have the moral authority to do so. Our elected leaders must be trusted. We cannot fight corruption if the people sitting in power are corrupt. To fight drugs, you should set the tone for the fight by calling the shots.)