Isko defends Duterte drug war, says criticism from VP Robredo unfair

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2020 11:55 AM | Updated as of Jan 07 2020 01:18 PM

Justice chief cites 'palpable gains' in anti-drug campaign

MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday said Vice-President Leni Robredo's criticism of the Duterte administration's war on drugs is unfair, especially to the men on the ground.

"Unfair naman 'yun sa enforcement unit who are putting their lives on the line confronting this ready-to-kill individual," Moreno said.

(That's unfair to enforcement units who are putting their lives on the line confronting this ready-to-kill individual.)

"Nilalagay nila sarili nila sa alanganin then you'll hear these type of statements. Alanganin lang, hindi lang ako kumportable," he added.

(They are putting their lives on the line then you'll here these types of statements. It's off-putting, I'm just not comfortable with it.)

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Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday said the administration's 3-year anti-narcotics drive is a failure, after law enforcers seized less than 1 percent of the total shabu supply that flooded the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte in November 2019 tapped Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), only to fire her after 18 days due to alleged missteps, including a meeting with UN officials supposedly critical of the campaign. 

Moreno also defended Duterte by saying he is the only chief executive who really confronted the drug problem and even went after drug syndicates. 

"We have to give an 'A' for the effort kasi hindi 'yan biro. Ang lalim ng droga, noong panahon pa ng dekada '80 lumala 'yan," he said.

(We have to give an 'A' for the effort because that's no joke. The drug war is deep, it worsened back in the '80s.)

Moreno said 164 of Manila's 896 barangays have been declared drug-free by authorities since he took office. 

"Ni ultimo ga-kulangot na droga walang itinitinda d'yan sa barangay. Panatag, especially may implementation pa nung other peace and order law nahihirapan, sumisikip ang mundo nitong mga illegal or bad elements in the society," he said.

(Even a small amount of drugs you can't find being sold in the barangay. We feel assured, especially since there's implementation of other peace and order laws, the world of these bad elements is shrinking, they're having a tough time.)

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, cited "palpable gains" in the drug war such as the decline in street crimes, even as he said that "admittedly the drug problem continues to bug us.

"It is also important to note that a great majority of our people continue to support the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign," he said in a statement.