Pangilinan asks public to support Robredo as she takes on drug war challenge

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019   •   310

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan called on Filipinos to support Vice President Leni Robredo as she takes on the task of co-chairing the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

Pangilinan said Robredo is facing a dangerous challenge ahead and would need the public’s full support to succeed.

“Mapanganib ang kanyang hinaharap na pagsubok at naniniwala tayo na kapag buo ang suporta at pagkilos ng mamamayan sa magiging hakbang niya ay mas matitiyak ang kanyang tagumpay,” he said in a statement.

Robredo on Wednesday accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to become co-chairperson of ICAD, in a bid to stop the killing of innocent lives under the administration’s war on drugs.

Pangilinan said the Liberal Party supported its chairperson’s decision although they are in doubt of Malacañang’s motive and sincerity about its offer.

“Bagamat hindi natin matiyak ang motibo at sinseridad ng Malacañang sa pag-alok sa nasabing pwesto, wala tayong duda sa sinseridad ng ating Bise Presidente sa kanyang layunin na hanapan ng tunay na solusyon ang problema sa iligal na droga sa bansa,” he said.

“Maliwanag ang naging pahayag ng ating Bise Pangulo na sa pagtanggap niya sa nasabing hamon ay tututulan nya ang araw-araw na patayan, papanagutin niya ang mga ninja cops, at hahabulin niya ang mga sindikato ng droga at mga kasabwat nito na nasa likod ng pagpapalusot ng tone-toneladang shabu sa BoC. Dahil dito, buo ang ating pagsuporta sa kanya,” he added.

He added that before Robredo’s announcement of her acceptance of the post, the party discussed and weighed its pros and cons.

“Pinag-usapan sa partido ang offer. Tinimbang ang mga pros at cons. At kahit alam ni VP Leni na maaaring patibong ito, tinanggap niya ang hamon. Mas matimbang sa kanya ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan na target ng madugong drug war,” he said.

Robredo’s camp initially expressed wariness on Duterte’s offer for her to co-lead the government’s war on drugs, even calling the appointment “meaningless,” and the post “problematic” and “non-existent.

But despite questions surrounding the offer, the vice president said she would accept the task and focus on what she can contribute to the anti-drug campaign.

PNP reiterates drug war successful, Robredo’s figures ‘totally wrong’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated that the government’s war on drugs is a success, contrary to the figures reported by Vice President Leni Robredo.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Archie Gamboa said the campaign against illegal drugs was one hundred percent successful; this was after Robredo called the drug war unsuccessful during her report on Monday (January 6).

“Whether her numbers are merely an estimate or the exact value, in any case, the figure derived is totally wrong,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said that since 2016, they already destroyed 14 clandestine drug laboratories and 419 drugs dens.

The PNP had also confiscated around P40.39 billion worth of illegal drugs. These include 5.1 tons of shabu, 2.3 tons of marijuana, 500 kilos of cocaine, and over 42,000 pieces of the party drug, ecstasy.

Authorities have also arrested 220,728 individuals in 2016, with 8,185 high value targets.

Gamboa also reported that 5,552 drug personalities and 55 policemen were killed during illegal drug operations. Meanwhile, a total of 16,706 barangays are drug-free.

Gamboa said Robredo’s appreciation of statistics in her report was not mathematically acceptable. He also said that her 18 days as the co-chairman in the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was not enough for her to provide estimates of the totality of the illegal drug campaign.

“Ang ginawa niya kin-quote niya iyong PDEG (What she did was, she quoted the PDEG) [Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group] that there are three tons of consumption per week for the drug problem of the Philippines and then in-equate niya ito sa drug recovered (then she equated it with the drugs recovered),” he said.

“Iyong appreciation niya doon sa statistics na iyon is wrong. Kung ganiyan ang appreciation niya (Her appreciation of the statistics is wrong. If that is her appreciation) it’s quite risky because if you have little knowledge that you present it could be very risky,” Gamboa added.

Meanwhile, the PNP official said despite the success of the government’s drug war, regional directors and head of national support units are doubling their efforts in the government’s war on drugs, terrorism, criminality, and corruption.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Palace on VP Robredo’s anti-drug report: ‘Nothing new’

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo criticized Vice President Leni Robredo’s revelations of what she claimed as her discovery during her short stint as the anti-drug czar.

In response to her press briefing Monday (January 6), the Palace said it was Robredo who failed as the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), and not the Duterte Administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“Palagay ko ang failure ay ang pag-upo niya (I think the real failure is when she took the post),” Panelo said.

Robredo spent only 18 days in the ICAD before President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed her from the position due to a lack of trust.

As for the figures that the Vice President divulged before the press, the Palace official said they were wrong and all anti-drug law enforcement agencies could attest to that.

Panelo argued that in comparison to Robredo, the President has unlimited resources when it comes to the government’s war on drugs as compare to her who knows nothing about the campaign.

“I think she just wants to be relevant,” Panelo said.

“It’s a dud. Wala naman siyang sinabing bago na hindi tinututukan ng mga ahensya na involved sa laban droga (There was nothing new with what she said that anti-drugs agencies didn’t address. There’s nothing new in what she said),” Panelo concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DILG wants Manila LGU to explain poor performance on gov’t war on drugs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is demanding an explanation from the local government of Manila why it failed the government’s illegal drugs campaign.

Based on the 2018 Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) Performance Audit, the city of Manila received 48% failure functionality rating among the cities across Metro Manila.

According to DILG Undersecretary Rico Judge Echiverri, drug functionality of the anti-drug abuse council in the city has been low from 2016 to 2018.

Echiverri clarified, however, that it is not incumbent Mayor Isko Domagoso who should solely shoulder the blame but the LGU itself and the former officials, particularly, former Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“But again, we have to give the show cause order. Remember we are filing cases not on the person but on the institution, which is the City of Manila,” Echiverri explained.

“So kahit hindi si Mayor Isko ang (So even if it’s not Mayor Isko who is) accountable, he has to answer still to the poor performance of Manila City,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DILG is pushing for a bill that would penalize local officials who do not act on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Under the ADAC bill, a local official may be put in jail and may be stripped of his chance for public service.

“Fine or suspension wala iyan. Hindi nila iniinda, pero ilagay mo as one of the provisions perpetual to run, tingnan mo kung di matakot ang mga yan, (Fine or suspension is something they will just ignore. But put it as one of the perpetual provisions to run, let’s see if they would dare),” Echiverri noted.

The bill is expected to progress at the Lower House through presidential son Congressman Paulo Duterte while Senator Ronald Dela Rosa is expected to propel on the approval of the bill at the Upper House. – MNP (with details from Dante Amento)

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