'Cautious optimism' from LP as Robredo accepts 'drug war' role
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his intention to involve Vice President Robredo in his drug crackdown during the oath taking of new appointees in Malacañang last October 28.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
'Cautious optimism' from LP as Robredo accepts 'drug war' role
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - November 6, 2019 - 3:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday announced she is accepting President Duterte's offer for her to serve as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. 

The minority Liberal Party  said it welcome the vice president's acceptance with "cautious optimism." 

"Leni does not play high politics with the lives of our people. We know that her sincerity overcame her own doubts, and it overcomes ours," the party said.

They however cautioned that the administration would have to sincerely and seriously cooperate with the vice president's efforts. "Kung seryoso ang administrasyon, alam naming mas seryoso si VP Leni na tumulong (If the administration is serious, we know that VP Leni is even more serious in helping)," they said. 

"If she is given the tools and is empowered by the administration, we can now altogether prove: The war on drugs can be part of the war against poverty—and not a war against poor people."

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the next step would be for Robredo to inform the president of her decision at the Palace, at which point he would set the boundaries of the powers of her position. 

'Good for the country and administration'

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Tolentino said, "Now that [she] is a part of the anti-drug campaign as an insider, we hope she would acquire the right historical perpective [after] seeing the magnitude of the problem as well as accepting that the policy choices made by the President were done for the good of the country."

Sen. Sonny Angara for his part said that "if she meets with success in her new role it will be good for the country and the administration, which delegated the job to her."

"We are surprised with her change of heart," Angara said. "We wish her well and hope she succeeds in helping solve the menace of drugs which destroys lives and communities."

Amid Robredo's call for the administration to rethink their approach towards illegal drugs, Duterte announced on October 28 that he extended to Robredo an offer to be the "drug czar" for six months. — with reports from Edu Punay, Christina Mendez and Paolo S. Romero

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