Leni Robredo and the 'war on drugs'
LATEST UPDATE: January 8, 2020 - 10:14am
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January 8, 2020

Liberal Party Vice President for External Affairs Erin Tañada slams the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for criticizing Vice President Leni Robredo’s report on the administration’s war on illegal drugs.

"Why are they criticizing the data mentioned by Vice President Leni in her report when they were the ones who submitted these numbers during her short stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. Are they now disowning their own data?" says Tañada.

"If they are disowning their own data, then this shows that the drug campaign is really a failure because they are not relying on their own evidence," he adds.

January 6, 2020

Vice President Leni Robredo recommends making the policy-making Dangerous Drugs Board the chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, saying the body would be better suited to craft overall policies that member agencies can help with.

ICAD is currently chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. 

Robredo, in an ongoing press conference, says the current campaign against illegal drugs had focused "on small-time pushers on street corners," saying this was at the expense of other aspects of the campaign like the rehabilitation and reintegration of drug dependents.

December 16, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo delays the release of her drug war findings as ICAD co-chair following the powerful quake that jolted Mindanao Sunday.

November 27, 2019

Despite no longer being on the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, Vice President Leni Robredo met with the representatives of Mothers Against Drug Abuse from different parts of Camarines Sur in Naga City on Tuesday, according to a release by her office.

Her office says the meeting was for Robredo to find out the drug situation in their areas as well as the interventions by their local government units.

"VP Leni underscored that it is important for communities to work together in providing mechanisms to help drug dependents who surrendered to the government recover from their addiction."

November 25, 2019

Communist Party of the Philippines founder Joma Sison says President Rodrigo Duterte "looks like a fool" by firing Vice President Leni Robredo as drug war co-chair after only two weeks.

Sison says the president has been afraid that Robredo will discover from local officials and US intelligence how Duterte is actually protecting the biggest drug lords under his crime family.

"Duterte was clearly never sincere in appointing VP Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). Now, Duterte looks like a fool, pasinto-sinto, by firing her after only two weeks," the CPP founder says in a statement.

"The people expect Robredo to expose the criminal operations of the Duterte drug empire and denounce how she has received no cooperation from Duterte and ICAD but attacks, disinformation and sabotage of her work as ICAD co-chair. It is her duty to condemn the bogus character of Duterte's so-called war on drugs. There is ample proof that Duterte and his close relatives and agents are responsible for the smuggling of illegal drugs."

"More than ever it has become clear to the people that the problem of illegal drugs has worsened under the Duterte regime because it protects the drug lords as the suppliers and engages in mass murder at the expense of the poor people who are suspected of being drug users and pushers."

November 25, 2019

Sen. Francis Pangilinan says the appointment and eventual firing of Vice President Leni Robredo as anti-drug co-chair prove that both the war on drugs and the appointment of the vice president as ICAD co-chair are bluff and bluster for the Duterte administration.

"Their scheme to make VP Leni look weak back-fired. Just two weeks after her appointment, she has shown courage and competence in facing the problem at hand and redirected the anti-drug war track from a criminal justice issue to a public health problem," Pangilinan says in a statement.

"Marami ang natuwa at humanga sa pagtanggap ni VP Leni ng nasabing alok. Sumabog sa mukha nila ang kanilang tangkang pahiyain si VP Leni. Sa maikling panahon, pinakita ni VP Leni na hindi solusyon ang araw-araw na patayan ng mga mahihirap na drug user habang pinapakawalan at pino-promote ang malalaking drug lord, ninja cops, at mga protektor nila."

November 24, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo has been removed as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs within hours of saying she has no intentions of resigning as the Palace suggested last Friday.

CNN Philippines and DZRH reported that the vice president has been removed from the ICAD, although neither news organization has provided details as of this post.

November 22, 2019

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says it "may not be civil nor ethical" for Vice President Leni Robredo to ask President Duterte to tell her if he does not want her for the "drug czar" job.

"If one is not comfortable with it, or cannot stand the heat in the kitchen, the honorable thing to do is to leave the post quietly," he says.

— The STAR/Alexis Romero

November 20, 2019

Erin Tañada, Liberal Party vice president for external affairs, says it is becoming apparent that the Duterte administration does not want Vice President Leni Robredo to succeed as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

"Naghahanap ang Malacanang ng palusot sa palpak na giyera ni Pangulong Duterte kontra droga at gusto nilang si VP Leni ang pagbuntunan ng sisi," Tañada says.

"Ngunit nagkakamali sila dahil determinado si VP Leni na gampanan ang kanyang tungkulin sa kabila ng pagpapahirap at pagmamatigas ng pamahalaan," he adds.

November 18, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, commends the Department of Health after a meeting on its initatives in the campaign against illegal drugs.

"Maraming ginagawa (They are doing a lot), actually, ang DOH—very commendable, very admirable—as far as the rehabilitation and reintegration phase is concerned," she tells reporters Monday.

She says, though, that the agency also faces many challenges, "and that is what we're looking to find a solution to, and to lighten the DOH's load."

Robredo explains that she has been meeting with member-agencies of the ICAD to help iron out issues that they may be facing.

November 17, 2019

The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. on Sunday stresses its "full and unwavering support to the government's intensified campaign against illegal drugs."

Earlier this week, Vice President Leni Robredo said she wants the government to look into the involvement of Chinese nationals in the illegal drug trade, saying
"those being caught operating within the Philippines, most of them are Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese nationals."

Although the FFCCCII did not name anyone in it statement, it said that "there may be a handful of wrongdoers or bad apples but the same should not affect the rest of the community."

It says: "We want to reiterate that most, if not all of the ethnic Chinese community members in the country, are law-abiding Filipino citizens, legitimate business people and conscientious in upholding rule of law. Let us be more careful in making public statements that may unnecessarily create rancor, conflicts, misunderstanding and promote unfair stereotypes."

President Rodrigo Duterte previously claimed that China is harboring drug lords who smuggle illegal drugs into the Philippines. The president, however, did not name the alleged drug lords.

"Where is the big fish [in illegal drugs]? If you want them, go to China. Look for them there," Duterte said in July 2016, a month after assuming the presidency.

November 15, 2019

Sen. Ping Lacson praises Vice President Leni Robredo's pitch to coordinate with the Chinese government to strengthen enforcement against the entry of illegal narcotics from the mainland.

In a tweet, Lacson says Robredo's plan is the "right attitude in intelligence gathering."

"Get as many related information from all available sources, domestic and foreign, human and technical, then process and analyze for dissemination and use by our anti-drug operatives," Lacson says.

November 15, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte entrusted Vice President Robredo with the being co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, her spokesman says in response to a Department of the Interior and Local Government official saying the department is worried about sharing information with her.

"What we are looking at is, is she really for real in helping us or looking into things that might be used against us? It’s just that this is a unique scenario where we invited an opposition to join," DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri said on “The Chiefs” on  Cignal TV’s One News.

"Since her designation, she has worked tirelessly and sincerely with the ICAD agencies to make the anti-drug campaign more effective and more responsive to the public's concerns," lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo's spokesperson says.

November 11, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano's criticism of Vice President Leni Robredo's first days as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs was "totally uncalled for, especially coming from the Speaker of the House."

Cayetano, in an interview on CNN Philippines, said that Robredo has been "all talk" and should keep quiet for a while as she adjusts to her new post. 

"The gravity of this issue on illegal drugs calls for every one to set aside politics. In the remaining two and a half years of the administration, we should all work together to solve this problem," Drilon says.

"Malacañang has vowed full support for the Vice President in order to fulfill this enormous task. We expect the allies of this administration to do no less," Drilon, a member of the minority Liberal Party, says.

November 11, 2019

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, urges House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to hold off his critical remarks as Robredo has not yet commenced with her duties as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

In a statement in response to Cayetano's CNN Philippines interview earlier today, Gutierrez says, "If [Cayetano} can't help in the job of the VP, he might as well avoid detraction."

"If at this early stage, we are already bickering, only the drug lords would be pleased," he says.

November 11, 2019

Senate President Alan Peter Cayetano says Vice President Leni Robredo has to respect the work that has been done in the last three years in the war on drugs.

In a live interview on CNN Philippines' "The Source," Cayetano tells host Pinky Webb that Robredo should try to see the reality first in the campaign against narcotics, suggesting it is unavoidably violent.

"Wag ka muna magcomment hangga't 'di mo nakikita yung nangyayari sa ground," Cayetano says.

November 9, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo says she will attend the Cabinet meeting only if invited.

"Kapag inimbitahan ako, pupunta ako, pero without the invitation, hindi ako pupunta, kasi kung naaalala naman natin noong 2016, ayaw akong pa-attend-in, so baka maging istorbo pa ako doon," Robredo says.

"Sa akin naman, hindi mahalaga iyong designation, kung ano talaga—kung Cabinet official ba. Iyong pinakamahalaga sa akin, maging cooperative lang iyong mga agencies, marami tayong magagawa," she adds.

 

November 7, 2019

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David believes Vice President Leni Robredo was sincere in saying she wanted to save even just one innocent life in accepting her designation as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs or ICAD.

In a Facebook post, David lauded Robredo's decision as bold even as it made him apprehensive at first.

David, like Robredo, is being accused by state prosecutors of sedition arising from the testimony of supposed whistleblower Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy. The two have been staunch critics of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Vice President Leni Robredo, whom President Rodrigo Duterte has designated co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, has called for a meeting of the committee's member-agencies on Friday, November 8.

According to Executive Order No. 15, series of 2017 creating the ICAD, the committee is chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

ICAD has representatives with the rank of undersecretary or assistant secretary from the following government agencies:

  • Dangerous Drugs Board
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • Department of Trade and Industry
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of National Defense
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • Philippine Information Agency
  • Public Attorney's Office
  • Office of the Solicitor General
  • Philippine Coast Guard
  • Philippine National Police
  • National Bureau of Investigation
  • Bureau of Customs
  • Bureau of Immigration
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • Anti-Money Laundering Council

The ICAD is tasked with making sure that member agencies "shall implement and comply with all policies, laws and issuances pertaining to the government's anti-illegal drug campaign, in an integrated and synchronized manner."

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