PNP says drug war 'relentless' after Robredo's anti-drug body exit

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2019 12:55 PM

VP, police ideas for transparency match - PNP spox 

Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at a conference about gender and adult literacy at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Nov. 22, 2019. Jay Ganzon, Office of the Vice President

MANILA — The hunt for high-value targets will continue to be "relentless" in the government's anti-narcotics drive, after Vice President Leni Robredo was fired from its top post, the Philippine National Police said Monday. 

President Rodrigo Duterte removed Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) over the weekend after she allegedly used her 18-day stint there for "grandstanding," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. 

"Hindi naman ito nakakaapekto sa ating patuloy na kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga," said PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac. 

"Patuloy na magiging relentless at walang tigil ang ating kampanya laban sa high-value targets nang may pagsunod sa batas at mga procedures, at paggalang sa karapatang pantao," he added. 

(This will not affect our campaign against illegal drugs. Our campaign against high-value targets will continue to be relentless while following the law and procedures, and respecting human rights.) 

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Robredo pushed for a community-based rehabilitation that treats drug addiction as a public health issue and not a purely law enforcement problem. 

"Kahit man siya ay wala na, kinonsidera natin ang kaniyang mga naging pahayag at tumugma ito sa direksyon din ng PNP na gawing mas transparent ang ating kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga," Banac told reporters. 

(Even if she's gone, we considered her statements and this matched the PNP's direction to make our campaign against illegal drugs more transparent.)

Duterte gave the PNP until Dec. 10 to complete the procurement of body cameras that will be used by anti-narcotics agents during their operations, especially in areas where illegal drugs are still rampant, like Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Western Visayas, he said.