Robredo tells Duterte: I hope you were exaggerating

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2017 09:42 PM

MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday expressed concern over President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that he would kill mayors who are on his so-called “narco list.”

"We hope the President was only exaggerating when he talked of killing mayors included in his drug list," Robredo said in reference to Duterte's speech before new officials who took their oath on Monday. 

"We also caution the President in making such pronouncements. We believe in the rule of law and believe that only the courts can decide if mayors in the drug list are guilty or innocent."

In a speech in Malacañang yesterday, Duterte said he would summon the mayors on his narco list and threatened to kill them.

“Itong malalaking shabu dealers, mamamatay talaga ito. And the next batch would really be tatawagin ko ‘yung mga mayors, i-lock ko, no --- kami-kami lang. Sabihin ko talaga sa kanila. Ganun kakapal ‘yung ipinakita ko sa inyo eh. Hanapin mo ‘yung pangalan mo diyan, mayor. T****** i** ‘pag nandiyan ‘yung pangalan mo, may problem ka. Talagang papatayin kita,” Duterte said.

Robredo also called out Duterte for saying that the P1 billion he allotted for the community-based rehabilitation of drug dependents could have been used for more worthwhile projects.

Government investments for the health and well-being of the people is never a waste of money, and the Duterte administration must understand that drug addiction is a health issue, she said. 

In his speech yesterday, Duterte said: “Then kita mo the irony of life. Nag-release ako ng another one billion sa mga p***** i**** mga durugista na ito. Kasi the community-based treatment or rehabs there, whatever is going on there, wala silang perang pambili ng medisina. So just imagine, one billion which could have been used for something like feeding the hungry. Napunta sa mga u*** hindi ko naman…Gusto kong patayin lahat eh magkakaroon tayo ng eskandalo. So I had to subsidize also the…Eh Pilipino eh." 

“Drug addiction is a health issue, and medical experts have labeled it as mental illness. In keeping to our oath to serve the Filipino people, we must help drug addicts in managing and eventually stopping their drug use,” Robredo said.

“We have expressed our support for President Duterte's fight against drug use and drug-related criminality, and we hope for a life-giving lens as we continue to find solutions.

“Community-based rehabilitation is an option that should be available to Filipinos who have fallen into addiction, but we must also focus on the causes of drug use and addiction such as poverty and lack of economic opportunity to truly end the drug problem.”