By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
The public should give Vice President Leni Robredo some space to pursue her policies as newly-appointed co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD).
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, although Robredo said earlier that she intends to enforce the government’s anti-narcotics policy without senseless killings, this should not be used to pit the Vice President against other officials who have an opposing view.
She should be allowed, without interference, to implement her anti-illegal drug agenda which she envisions to be effective in addressing the drug menace.
Panelo praised Robredo’s willingness to accept the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino’s offer to join the anti-drug operations to have a feel of how law enforcers work in the field.
PDEA expects such exposure could also change her perception of the government’s fight against illegal drugs.
The Spokesperson believes joining anti-drug operations would be a way for Robredo to see the hostile and mortal realities on the ground which could pave the way for the re-evaluation of her previous position on the government’s drive against prohibited drugs.
Panelo thinks Robredo’s initiative is an indication that she is open to suspending all her negative notions of the drug war which, he claims, are mostly based on false, if not exaggerated, information.
The second highest official of the land has long been a critic of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign strategy. According to government data, the operations have resulted in the killing of at least 6,600 people since the President assumed office in 2016.
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But wait, if Robredo were to join a drug raid, would it not pose a problem for PDEA operatives?
Apart from the intricacies of the operation itself, the authorities would now also have to worry about the safety and security of the Vice President.
Granting that she would be positioned at a safe distance from the target location, securing her safety would require additional manpower.
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