Duterte hopes Robredo will see 'reality' upon taking drug war role

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Duterte hopes Robredo will see 'reality' upon taking drug war role
Vice President Leni Robredo pictured as she makes her statement at Office of the Vice President in Quezon City Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Robredo accepted the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte to take a role in the government's campaign against illegal drugs.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the decision of Vice President Leni Robredo to accept his offer to lead the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

According to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Duterte told his Cabinet members "it was good" that the vice president accepted the offer to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

"With the vice president at the helm of the anti-narcotics campaign, President Duterte expects that the former would see the realities on the ground," Panelo said in a statement Thursday.

Robredo has been vocal on her position against the drug war, particularly against the spate of extrajudicial killings in the conduct of anti-drug operations.

With the vice president at the helm of the campaign, the Duterte administration hopes she would "understand that deaths occur due to the violent reactions on the part of agents of the illegal drug trade against the strict enforcement of the law."

In a televised speech Wednesday, Robredo said she is accepting the job to stop the killings and hold accountable those behind rights abuses in the drug war.

"At kahit sabihin na nating ang alok na ito ay pamumulitika lamang, at hindi naman talaga ako susundin ng mga ahensya, at gagawin nila ang lahat para hindi ako magtagumpay, handa akong tiisin ang lahat ng ito. Dahil kung mayroon akong maililigtas na kahit isang inosenteng buhay, ang sinasabi ng prinsipyo at puso ko ay kailangan ko itong subukan," Robredo said.

(Even if we say that the offer was mere politicking and the government agencies will not follow me and they will do everything for me not to succeed, I’m ready to bear all of these. Because if I can save one innocent life, my principles and heart are telling me I should give it a try.)


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