Some senators are urging Vice President Leni Robredo to accept her appointment as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Robredo should accept the new post given to her by President Rodrigo Duterte so that she would realize that the campaign against illegal drugs cannot be stopped.
“It is a never-ending struggle sapagkat pag pinag-aralan mo ng mabuti ito (because if you study this carefully), this is the only crime that can be called a complex crime. Ito lang ang tanging (This is the only) complex crime in the world because the victim is a criminal, and the criminal is the victim,” Sotto said.
The veteran legislator said the Vice President should do her part to help the country fight the problem of illegal drugs.
“She does not have to help the President.”
“She does not have to help the President. Alam ko naman na yung grupo nila, ayaw nila, hindi nila gustong suportahan yung administrasyon (I know that their group doesn’t want to support the administration). You don’t have to support the administration. You support the fight against illegal drugs for the good of the country and for the good of the people,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
“Study the problem, give alternatives, and give solutions to the current problem instead of just criticizing and never ever say that you should stop the war on drugs. The only people who could say that would be the drug dealers themselves, or perhaps even users,” the senator added.
Senator Bong Go challenged Robredo to take on the job.
“I challenge the Vice President to accept the job. At least malalaman mo ano ‘yung trabaho ng isang pangulo at gaano kalaki ang problema natin sa iligal na droga, tignan natin kung makakatulog ka pa (At least you would know the job of a president, as well as the gravity of the problem on illegal drugs),” Go said.
Meanwhile, Senator Bato dela Rosa expressed optimism that the war on drugs would become more successful with Robredo on board.
“I hope that we can win this war as one nation undivided by political colors,” dela Rosa said.
For his part, Senator Win Gatchalian said the new post for Robredo would be a “good opportunity” for her and her team to use their alternative strategies to eliminate the illegal drugs in the country.
“The President’s offer to Robredo shows his sincerity in exemplifying inclusive governance.”
As for Senator Francis Tolentino, the President’s offer to Robredo shows his sincerity in exemplifying inclusive governance and the need for cooperation in fighting the drug menace.
In a memorandum dated October 31 and released recently, Duterte designated Robredo as co-chairperson of ICAD until the end of his term on June 30, 2022.
The designation of Robredo was made following demands by critics and detractors that enforcement power should be given to Robredo “through an official correspondence, and not just through verbal or electronic communication.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo could start attending the Cabinet meeting if she accepts the position.
Panelo said as ICAD co-chair, Robredo will have authority over all drug enforcement agencies and offices, such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
“The President has directed these instrumentalities to render full assistance and cooperation to her through this official document,” he said.