In first meeting with ICAD, Robredo seeks end to senseless killings in drug war

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2019 03:46 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2019 04:09 PM

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday presided over her first briefing as the country’s new anti-drug chief, reminding law enforcement agencies to rethink their strategies to prevent “senseless killings.”

Robredo told officials under the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) that the campaign should target the drug problem, not “our people.”

More than 6,000 people have been killed in anti-drug operations in the past 3 years, but human rights groups claim the actual number was much higher.

“Baka panahon na para pag-isipan natin yung pagpalit ng isang kampanya na mas epektibo pero walang namamatay senselessly,” Robredo said in the briefing.

(Maybe it’s time to think about a new campaign with something more effective, where no one dies senselessly.)

Robredo said she would use the opportunity as a “listening exercise” to gather information on the extent of the drug problem.

“Sa lahat ng police operations, anything can happen. Pero yung kinokontra natin, yung pinagpaplanuhan at pagpatay ng mga walang kamuwang-muwang,” she said. 

(Anything can happen in police operations. But what we're against is the killing of innocent people.)

“I feel strongly about it.”

At the outset, Robredo acknowledged her “differences” in opinion with those implementing the government’s drug war.

Robredo was flanked by Director General Aaron of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, her ICAD co-chair, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Catalino Cuy, chief of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

“Despite our differences, iisa lang naman ang hangarin natin — maging matagumpay ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” she said.

(Despite our differences, we have a similar goal – to make the drug war a success.)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier named Robredo to lead ICAD following her repeated criticism of his brutal drug war.