VP Robredo to convene ICAD members on Friday

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019   •   498

Vice President Leni Robredo (2-L) and spokesperson Barry Gutierrez (2-R), prepare to deliver a statement to the press in Quezon City, Philippines, 06 November 2019. Robredo announced on 06 November, she would accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s designation of her as the co-chairperson of the country’s Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. The designation, dated 31 October 2019, was announced by the Malacanang Presidential Palace on 05 November. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo will begin her job as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) by meeting its members on Friday (November 8).

Robredo said she has sent invitations to all agencies under ICAD for the meeting in order to discuss pertinent items in relation to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

The Vice President said she wants to know the details of the existing anti-drug campaign in order to input reforms in accordance with the law, human rights, and the standard operating procedures.

“[The war on drugs] will continue with the same vigor, with the same intensity, with the same strength,” she said.

“Ang iibahin na lang natin ay ang manner by which ginagawa ito,” she noted.

Robredo also wants to be informed of the scope and limitations of her role as co-chairperson of ICAD.

She clarified, however, that she has no intention to change the entire system of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

“Marami namang ginagawa na makabuluhan, lalo natin iyong paiigtingin, ” she said.

“Pero iyong nakikita natin na mga mali, lalo na yung patayin, yun ang sisiguraduhin natin na hindi na mangyayari, ” she added.

Robredo eyes a drug war that is transparent except for the information that is confidential to the agency.

By being transparent, the agency will be able to resolve cases of abuse of power in relation to illegal drugs easily and make the Filipino understand the outlook of the government’s anti-drug campaign. MNP (With details from Vincent Arboleda)

Office of the Vice President suspends operation after 4 staffers contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) confirmed that four members of its staff has contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Following the confirmation, the OVP immediately suspended operations and proceeded with testing all its personnel including Vice President Leni Robredo.

According to OVP Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez, VP Robredo tested negative for COVID-19.

“The office has already started contact tracing procedures to identify all those who have interacted with the four staffers that tested positive,” Gutierrez said.

Atty. Gutierrez said office operations at the OVP will temporarily be suspended to make way for a full disinfection procedure.

Lacson: Robredo should justify need to divulge drug war findings

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo (L) and Senator Panfilo Lacson (R)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson believes that Vice President Leni Robredo should justify the need to reveal her findings during her short stint as the co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

“Kung gagawin ganoon lalong lalala, ang wedge lalapad. It’s her call. Kailangan justify niya rin,” Lacson told reporters at the Senate on Monday when asked for comment on Robredo’s statement.

“But sa akin I don’t think it’s still necessary. What for? Dahil binigyan ka ng katungkulan na gagampanan mo, ngayong natanggal ka, isisiwalat mo ang mga natuklasan mo?” he added.

The senator said if the information will help improve the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, then Robredo should reveal it “by all means.”

“Depende sa anong isisiwalat niya. If it is to destroy or impede ang anti-illegal drugs campaign, huwag naman sana,” he said.

“Pero kung natuklasan niya para ma-enhance ang fight against illegal drugs, then by all means,” he added.

Lacson also said that if Robredo plans to divulge mistakes that would make some people criminally liable then she should have done it while she was still holding the post.

“Pero kung may nakita siyang pagkakamali that would point to several persons that could be held criminally liable, dapat noong nasa position siya,” he said.

The vice president earlier vowed to remain determined to end the killings under the government’s war on drugs despite her termination as ICAD’s co-chairperson.

She also promised to report to the public some information about the drug war and her recommendations.

Over the weekend, Malacañang confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Robredo in response to the opposition’s dare to remove her from post due to lack of trust.

Robredo after boot from drug war: ‘I am just getting started’

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019

 A handout photo made available by the Office of the Vice President shows Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo delivering a statement regarding her removal as co-chair of the country’s Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, in San Fernando, Camarines Sur province, Philippines 25 November 2019. 

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said she is just getting started after President Rodrigo Duterte booted her from the government’s anti-drug body more than two weeks after she accepted the appointment.

In a press conference in Naga, Camarines Sur, Robredo assured that her firing as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD) will not dampen her determination to end the killings under the government’s war on drugs.

“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” Robredo told reporters hours after Malacañang officials confirmed her removal from the position.

“Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang tinanggap ko ang hamon na pamunuan ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang aking isinantabi ang napakaraming babala para pasanin ko ang trabahong halos imposible ay kailangan kong subukan para sa ating mga kababayan,” she added.

She continued with: “Hindi ako nagsayang ng oras, nakipag-pulong agada ko sa ICAD at sa iba’t ibang ahensiya. Kinonsulta natin ang iba’t ibang mga sektor. Pumunta tayo s amga komunidad. Nakipag-pulong tayo sa mga LGUs (local government units). Binisita natin ang mga rehab centers.”

“Pero nagsimula agad ang mga atake. Walang tigil ang pagbabatikos. Mahina raw ako sa krimen. Huwag daw akong makialam sa pulis. Hindi na raw ako mapagkakatiwalaan. Pinagtulung-tulungan at pinagkaisahan ako para hindi magtagumpay.”

It can be recalled that Duterte designated Robredo as ICAD’s co-chair on Oct. 31. She accepted the post on Nov. 6, saying her primary consideration in accepting the task was to promote a bloodless campaign against illegal drugs, as well as improve the program.

While she was the campaign’s co-lead, she met with agencies comprising the government’s anti-drug body, as well as officials from the United States government and the United Nations and other groups.

Several days later, Duterte expressed his distrust of Robredo over the supposed ‘missteps’ she took by talking to groups that are critical of his campaign.

On Nov. 24, Malacañang announced that Duterte has removed Robredo as ICAD’s co-chair.

“Kung pareho naman ang ating layunin, bakit hindi na lang tayo magtulungan? Hindi ba talaga sila seryoso sa laban? O may interes ba tayong nabangga?” she asked.

“Mr. President, hindi ko hiningi ang posisyong ito. Pero sineryoso ko ang trabahong ipinasa ninyo,” she added.

Robredo vowed that her termination from ICAD won’t silence her nor stop her determination in putting an end to senseless killings.

“Kahit tinanggalan ako ng posisyon, hinding-hindi nila kayang tanggalin ang aking determinasyon. Determinasyong itigil ang patayan, panagutin ang kailangang managot, at ipanalo ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” she said.

“Sa mga susunod na araw magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at ang aking mga rekomendasyon,” she further stated.

Malacañang earlier said the president fired Robredo in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan, to just fire the vice president from her post.

“This is also in response to the taunt and dare of VP Robredo for the president to just tell her that he wants her out,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Allan Manansala)

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