Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has lauded Vice President Leni Robredo for submitting a list of actionable recommendations to the Duterte administration to improve its campaign against the use and proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
De Lima made the remarks after Robredo presented a 40-page report containing her findings and recommendations to the government as a result of her 18-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) last year.
In her Dispatch from Camp Crame No. 696 issued last Jan. 7, the lady Senator from Bicol pointed out that Robredo’s report showed that the Vice President has a deep understanding of the real situation of the drug menace in the country.
“VP Leni’s ICAD Report is a well-researched, data-driven and a completely objective look on the President’s War on Drugs. She cited existing government data and based her conclusions on credible authorities,” she said.
“Her further statements and responses during the presscon yesterday (Jan. 6) reveal a deep grasp of the real drug situation, including the gaps and shortcomings in the bureaucratic structures and strategies,” she added.
Last Jan. 6, Robredo, who served as anti-drug czar before being unceremoniously fired after 18 days, gave the administration a failing score in its ongoing war on drugs that killed thousands of suspected drug offenders, mostly poor.
De Lima, a known critic of the administration’s war on drugs, also called out Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo for trying to discredit Robredo and her report despite not having any knowledge of its contents.
“It is hypocritical of Panelo to dismiss VP Leni because she didn’t take part in any ground operations during her 18-day stint when not even the President did so in all of his 3 ½ years in office,” she said.
“That is precisely what is wrong with this government: all politics and blusters, no substance,” she added.
De Lima, the first lawmaker who initiated a Senate investigation into the human rights abuses under the war on drugs, also pointed out that Robredo’s report is proof that the Filipino public suffer in the implementation of the anti-drug campaign.
“Sa sobrang pamumulitika at porma, winalang bahala ang mga datos. Sa pagsantabi sa katotohanan ng War on Drugs, panalo ang mga drug lords, talo ang taumbayan,” she said.
“A failure indeed!,” the lady Senator stressed.
Since being elected as Senator in 2016, De Lima was firm in her stand against extrajudicial killings allegedly induced and perpetrated by law enforcement authorities in the country, under the guise of a legitimate anti-drug campaign. (30)