DECEMBER 12, 2019 — Vice President Leni Robredo has not made any significant contributions during the 18 days she was co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), said the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
At a press briefing on the real numbers in the drug war, Aaron Aquino said the vice president did not actually made a dent in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“In terms of law enforcement, I guess none… I guess wala namang nabago o wala naman talaga dapat glaring issues na makikita natin bumaba ang krimen o bumaba ang accomplishment natin sa illegal drugs,” said Aquino.
The campaign against illegal drugs is the centerpiece program of the Duterte administration.
Nearly 6,000 people had died in the police anti-drugs operations since July 2016 when drug peddlers and users chose to shoot it out with undercover police officers. Another 3,000 people were killed by unknown assailants in what police described as drug-related killings.
Human rights groups claimed the death toll could be much higher.
Aquino also said his former ICAD co-chair could have accomplished more if she has met with all four clusters involved in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“Sabi ko, ‘ma’am, meet the four clusters—the law enforcement, the advocacy, the justice, and the rehabilitation and reintegration clusters. Somehow, you will know exactly what the total picture of the drug situation in our country is,'” he explained.
Robredo was able to only meet with the law enforcement cluster. She had failed to meet with the three others before she began visiting barangays and rehabilitation centers as well as meet with international counterparts.
“Nagkakaroon ng misinformation. Hindi niya nakukuha lahat yung problema ng illegal drugs. Should she met the four ICAD clusters, magiging mas malaki yung kanyang scope of knowledge kung ano yung drug situation ng Pilipinas,”
The PDEA chief said her failure to talk to all clusters had led her to be misinformed about certain aspects in the drug war, such as her revelation that most of the illegal drugs in the country were coming from China.
“Most of the drugs now are coming from the Golden Triangle region” Aquino said. “In fact, for this year alone, 24 incidents of drug seizures are coming from the Golden Triangle,” he said reiterating what he had told Robredo in a closed-door meeting.
Aquino also said the Vice President refused to see the list of high-value targets she had asked for when he had offered for the reason that she had no guarantee what the scope of her responsibility as ICAD co-chair was.
Robredo is set to release her report on the administration’s anti-drug war on Monday.
The report, she said, would include gaps and lapses in the campaign which she found during her time as anti-drug czar.
Robredo will also include recommendations on how to improve the war against illegal drugs in the report. (Nicole Dacanay/MM)