Robredo to set a 'drug war' that focuses on rehab and prevention than 'kill, kill, kill'

Vice President Leni Robredo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said she would continue the government’s “drug war” – the kind that would place more effort on rehabilitation and prevention than “kill, kill, kill” if she wins the presidency in the 2022 polls.

Robredo, who briefly served as a co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), noted that the current administration’s war against illegal drugs has been “heavy on enforcement” rather than being “comprehensive.”

“Iyong sa atin kasi, nakita natin in the past five years na iyong drug war, kinonduct natin parang lahat lang siya heavy on enforcement—hindi ako doon naniniwala,” Robredo told reporters in a press conference in Sorsogon.

(In our case, we saw in the past five years that the drug war was conducted in such a way that is heavy on the enforcement—I do not believe in that strategy.)

“Kasi nakita natin over the past five and a half years, sobrang daming namatay pero ang kuwestiyon, ‘Nawala ba?’ Ang sagot, ‘Hindi’,” she added.

(Because we saw over the past five and a half years, many have died but the questions is, “Did the problem disappear?’ The answer is, “No.”)

For Robredo, the government’s fight against illegal drugs, particularly the ICAD, should be headed by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to be able to carry out a “more holistic” approach to address the drug problem.

Currently, ICAD is being chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which according to Robredo, is leaning more towards enforcement.

“So sa akin, ang paniniwala ko, kapag DDB iyong umupo na chair, ang plano niya hindi lang patay, patay, patay. Ang plano niya talagang very comprehensive—heavy on prevention, heavy on rehabilitation.

(So for me, my belief is, if DDB is the chair, its plan is not only hinged on kill, kill, kill. Its plan will really be comprehensive  In my belief, once DDB sits as the chair of DDB, its plan will not be just ‘kill, kill, kill’ but the plan will be more comprehensive—heavy on prevention, heavy on rehabilitation.)

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte challenged and then appointed Robredo to lead the ICAD after expressing exasperation over his vice president’s constant criticism of his drug war.

Robredo accepted Duterte’s dare and appointment, but the Chief Executive fired her 18 days later, saying she could not be trusted.

Duterte is facing crimes against humanity complaints before the International Criminal Court over his drug war, which reportedly claimed the lives of thousands.

READ: Duterte says he’s ready to face ICC case, others once he steps down


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