CONTRARY to Malacañang’s reasons for firing Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), the Philippine National Police on Tuesday, November 26, said it did not see Robredo make any “missteps” during her 18-day stint as the administration’s anti-drug czar.
“During her stay as co-chair of ICAD, we haven’t really noticed any report or missteps,” said PNP spokesman Bernard Banac in an interview with ANC’s “Early Edition.”
“But in the continuing discussion, of course, there is that exchange of ideas and insofar as discussion on a higher level, the PNP is not really involved anymore so we leave it to the higher authorities,” he added.
According to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Robredo committed several ‘missteps’ including seeking the advice of certain foreign institutions and personalities that have prejudged the campaign against illegal drugs as a violation of human rights as well as failing to present a program of action in her new role as ICAD co-chair in the three weeks she was in office.
Banac, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to Robredo for her contributions to the ICAD.
“In her three week stint as co-chair of ICAD, we were able to gain a lot of ideas from her, especially her advocacy and her desire for community-based rehabilitation of drug users and her desire for more transparency of the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.
“Along that line, we would like to also share that her desires and the direction of the PNP matches,” he added.
Banac also assured that Robredo’s firing would not affect the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.
“The PNP will continue on and will pursue the campaign against illegal drugs, especially high-value targets relentlessly,” he said.
Lacson: It’s a pity
Senator Panfilo Lacson, for his part, finds it a loss for Robredo to be removed from her post as ICAD co-chair, saying that she was doing the job justice.
“I feel sorry at the loss. I’d say she was on the right track in addressing the problem of drugs,” he said Monday, Nov. 25.
“It is my opinion that VP was doing the right things. That’s really what ought to be done, you consult with those in the know, that’s really what she did,” he added in Filipino.
As the drug czar, Robredo met with representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development to discuss ‘best practices’ in tackling the country’s drug problem.