Robredo wants clear PH drug war baseline data by yearend

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019   •   277

FILE PHOTO: Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday asked agencies comprising the law enforcement cluster of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD) to produce by year-end a clear set of data on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Robredo, who now co-leads ICAD, said this topic was among the key points discussed in her meeting with ICAD’s law enforcement cluster on Thursday morning.

“Ang unang na-highlight is as of now, walang clear baselines, so iyon ‘yung pinagtatrabahuhan. Mayroon nang efforts to do that. Iyon ang unang agreement na tapusin na iyong baselines, until the end of the year,” the vice president told reporters in an interview after the meeting.

“’Yong aming target until the end of the year, mayroon nang linaw. I think DILG would need more time to finish the information system, pero ipi-present nila sa amin on Tuesday,” she further stated.

The baseline data she is talking about refers to the number of drug users and drug dependents at the start of the campaign in 2016, as well as of surrenderers, arrested individuals, and the users undergoing rehabilitation.

Robredo stressed that having a clear set of data is important in dealing with the country’s drug problem. It will also be used to gauge the campaign’s accomplishments.

She also noted that government agencies have different drug war numbers.

“May listahan iyong barangay, may listahan iyong ibang local government units, may listahan iyong PDEA, may listahan iyong PNP. So just to harmonize all the lists,” she said.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri agreed with Robredo, adding that the lists submitted by some local officials are also laced with politics.

“Hindi maiiwasan yung mga barangay, imbis na ang ibigay na listahan yung mga totoo ay nilagay nila sa listahan yung mga kalaban nila sa pulitika. So, ibii-vet pa yun ng PNP at PDEA,” he said.

Echiverri also revealed cases where some local officials provide erroneous information on drug war which does not help at all as a basis for crafting an anti-drug strategy.

“Kasi ngayon po kahit kasuhan namin sila, ano legal basis? Wala, so pag nalaman nilang walang basis eh di, wala na lang, gawin ulit,” he added.

Aside from having no centralized information system on the campaign, Robredo also identified some problems in the detention of drug users and dealers along with other detainees such as in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

“Kahit sa BJMP, ‘yung mga detention prisoners, nahahalo ‘yung accused of drug use sa mga hindi accused of drug use, nagkakaroon ng hawaan,” she said.

To address this, Robredo recommended the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to tackle and draft proposed measures to help improve the government’s war on drugs.

“Hopefully, by early next week meron nang TWG na before the end of the year, ang target ko nga when I get invited to the House committee on dangerous drugs, ma-present na ‘yung hinihingi na tulong from Congress,” she said.

Next week, Robredo plans to meet with the DILG, Department of Health and the Dangerous Drugs Board to discuss more on their ongoing programs in line with the anti-illegal drug campaign. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

OVP purchases P14-M worth of COVID-19 test kits developed by UP scientists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 24, 2020

The office of Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo has purchased P14 million worth of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits developed by the scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP).

In a statement, the OVP said the test kits will be delivered to hospitals certified as laboratories for COVID-19 testing. These include San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, V. Luna Hospital, and Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory.

The testing kits will help in conducting a total of 10,000 tests.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) previously said the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and Philippine Genome Center aim to increase test kit production as well as increase COVID-19 testing capacity per day.

“With the deployment of the test kits, UP-NIH will increase its capacity to run more tests per day, as each unit of the GENAMPLIFY™ COVID-19 test kit can run 25 tests at once and provide results within two hours,” the DOST said in the statement.

Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center Dr. Raul Destura said there is 8,000 to 10,000 tests produced daily and they aim to increase it by 16,000 tests per day by May 1. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

PACC’s Belgica says colleague’s call to probe Robredo’s COVID-19 aid “a personal opinion”

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner and Spokesperson Greco Belgica on Thursday clarified that the call of one of his colleagues to probe Vice President Leni Robredo’s fund drive and relief operations amid the COVID-19 crisis was just “his personal opinion.”

In a statement, Belgica said Commissioner Manuelito Luna’s statement calling on the National Bureau of Investigation to prove Robredo for allegedly competing with the government’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 “was a personal opinion,” and “does not reflect the body’s sentiments.

“PACC is not asking anyone to investigate VP Leni Robredo. On the other hand, we are grateful to everyone who is helping the frontliners and the needy, including the VP,” he said.

“This is not the time for politicking. We are not concerned with any personality.  Our main concern is to make sure all the needy Filipinos get all the help they need the President promised,” he added.

He also said that the government’s immediate concern right now is to end the coronavirus pandemic, save lives, and rebuild the country and the lives of people after the crisis ends.

“Magtulungan po tayo. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tumutulong pati ang hindi lumalabas ng bahay. Tayo po ay nakakatulong sa ating pagsunod,” he said.

Robredo’s camp earlier slammed Luna’s statement, calling it “ridiculous” and “inappropriate” amid the COVID-19 threat.

Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez said VP Leni has mobilized groups and organized free transport to help health workers, government institutions, and ordinary Filipinos overcome the challenges they had to face due to the threat of infection.

“Anyone who insists that bringing much-needed assistance to hospitals, health workers, and poor Filipinos is somehow a ‘competition’ has absolutely no understanding of the gravity of the crisis we are all facing,” he said.

He assured that Robredo will continue to do all she can to help those in need in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Robredo, Sotto, Cayetano get higher satisfaction ratings in Q4 2019 – SWS

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2020

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – The net satisfaction ratings of Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano rose in the last quarter of 2019, based on the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Tuesday, March 3.

The survey, conducted from December 13 to 16, 2019, revealed that 59% were satisfied and 23% were dissatisfied with the performance of Robredo.

Robredo’s rating increased by three points for a “good” +36, an improvement from her previous +33 in September 2019.

Meanwhile, Sotto got a “very good” +62 net satisfaction rating after 73% of the respondents said they were satisfied with his performance as Senate President while 10% expressed dissatisfaction.

Sotto’s rating is one-point higher than his previous +61 in September 2019.

Cayetano also got a “very good” +53 rating as 67% of respondents said they were satisfied with his performance while 15% said they were not satisfied.

The House Speaker’s score is up by four points from his previous rating of +49.

The survey also showed that 40% of respondents were satisfied with the work of Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta while 19% said they were dissatisfied.

Peralta’s first net satisfaction rating was a “moderate” +21, the SWS said. He assumed the post in October last year.

The December 2019 survey also revealed that the net satisfaction rating of the Senate stayed “very good” +62 which is up from +56 in September; while the House of Representatives climbed from “good” to “very good” +51 from the previous +43.

The Supreme Court’s net satisfaction rating also remained “good” +49, up from +41 in September while the Cabinet as a whole stayed “good” at +45 rating, a 10-point increase from its previous +35 rating.

The Fourth Quarter 2019 SWS Survey was conducted from December 13-16, 2019 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide.

Please visit the link for additional information about the survey.

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