VP finds bodhi

She sug­gested the in­clu­sion of the ad­vo­cates and dif­fer­ent civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions to en­sure that there will be no more sense­less killings

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kristina Mar­alit

On her first full day as the anti-drugs cza­rina of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo claimed en­light­en­ment af­ter a meet­ing with of­fi­cials of the In­ter-Agency Com­mit­tee Against Il­le­gal Drugs (ICAD) but raised the need for

“ad­di­tional met­rics,” which she did not spec­ify.

In a press con­fer­ence she presided with Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency di­rec­tor gen­eral Aaron Aquino fol­low­ing the ICAD meet­ing, Ro­bredo ad­mit­ted to have a bet­ter per­spec­tive of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s war on drugs af­ter each clus­ter ex­plained their re­spec­tive “frame­work.”

She, how­ever, sug­gested the “in­clu­sion of the ad­vo­cates and dif­fer­ent civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions” to en­sure that there will be no more “sense­less killings.”

“I was very em­phatic from the open­ing un­til the clos­ing. The killings di­min­ish all the hard work that all the agen­cies have been putting into this,” Ro­bredo stated.

“I was lis­ten­ing to the clus­ters of dif­fer­ent agen­cies. My view is, what­ever is bad should be changed be­cause the good is what should be mag­ni­fied and strength­ened,” she added.

Mov­ing on

Ro­bredo, like­wise, said while she is still wait­ing for the Palace to out­line her ex­act du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Aquino’s cochair­per­son of ICAD, they all “should buckle down to busi­ness.”

She noted that she will be call­ing for meet­ings with each clus­ter of the com­mit­tee be­gin­ning with the one made up of all law en­force­ment agen­cies.

She then turned to Aquino and told him “not to worry” about his pre­vi­ous re­marks about her.

To re­call, the PDEA chief ear­lier said that Ro­bredo has “a lot of catch­ing up to do and in the process PDEA is afraid that it will some­how de­rail its ef­forts and op­er­a­tions.”

“Let’s move for­ward and work to­gether,” Ro­bredo said.

In re­sponse, Aquino ex­pressed he is now “at home” with Ro­bredo and that he is pleased with how the lat­ter “has more un­der­stand­ing.”

“Hope­fully in the com­ing ICAD meet­ings, she will learn a lot more,” he stated.

Aquino also ex­tended an in­vite to Ro­bredo, which she ac­cepted, to “join in on the op­er­a­tions” one of these days to get a feel of how the law en­forcers “work on the ground.”

“You will see the ac­tual prob­lems if you are there on the ground and hope­fully see if there are lapses and point them out,” he said.

Rhetoric still

Ini­tially, Ro­bredo called for a shift in strat­egy in car­ry­ing out the govern­ment’s cam­paign against nar­cotics.

In her open­ing re­marks, she called on the com­mit­tee to ex­plore other av­enues to ad­dress the prob­lem and stop what she de­scribed as the sense­less killings, par­tic­u­larly of the poor, in the war on drugs.

“Be­cause of the many sense­less killings that ac­com­pa­nied po­lice op­er­a­tions, it has reached a cer­tain level of no­to­ri­ety that when you say tokhang, it is a war against the poor,” Ro­bredo, who ac­cepted the post two days ago, said.

ANALY LA­BOR

Leni wades into war Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo as anti-drugs cza­rina con­venes the In­ter-Agency Com­mit­tee on Anti-Il­le­gal Drugs with Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency di­rec­tor Aaron Aquino (left), Dan­ger­ous Drug Board Chair­man Catal­ino Cuy (third from left) and De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment Sec­re­tary Eduardo Año. Drug de­pen­dence is a med­i­cal and so­ci­o­log­i­cal prob­lem, she said.

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