PRRD designates VP Leni as co-chair of anti-drug body

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DAVAO CITY— President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday, November 5, has signed a memorandum designating Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) until the end of his term on June 30, 2022.

Dutetre said the purpose of which is for the Vice President to help his administration’s aggressive crackdown against the illegal drug trade.

The designation of Robredo was made following demands by critics and detractors that enforcement power should be given to Robredo “through an official correspondence, and not just through a verbal or electronic communication.”

The ICAD has 20 agencies as members.

Under Executive Order 15 which created the ICAD, the ICAD’s mandate includes the following:

  • ensure the effective conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and arrest of high¬ value drug personalities down to the street-level peddlers and users;
  • spearhead and coordinate the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action 2015-2020 ;
  • ensure comprehensive  implementation  of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program;
  • ensure intensive conduct of advocacy campaign initiatives;
  • ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the member agencies are efficiently and effectively carried out;
  • cleanse the bureaucracy of unscrupulous personnel involved in illegal drug activities ; and
  • ensure that the anti-illegal drug objectives of the government are achieved

Robredo, according to her spokesperson Barry Gutierez, will issue a statement Wednesday to lay out her position on the drug war and how she thinks it should be addressed.

“Si VP ay seryoso na kailangan itong ayusin . . . Bukas siya ay magbibigay ng isang pahayag tungkol sa usapin ng drug war, kung ano ang tingin nyang direksyon na dapat puntahan nito,” Gutierrez in a press conference yesterday said.

In an interview over CNN, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo could start attending the scheduled Cabinet meeting this week if she accepts the position.

Panelo said as ICAD co-chair, Robredo will have authority over all drug enforcement agencies and offices, such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

“The President has directed these instrumentalities to render full assistance and cooperation to her through this official document,” he said.

Panelo, meanwhile, expressed hope that critics and detractors would finally see the President’s sincerity in making the offer to the Vice President.

He denied their claims that the President’s offer was a ruse manufactured by the administration to discredit Robredo.

Panelo noted that the President’s ultimate motivation is the hope that the government be successful in combating the drug menace.

“Ang tagumpay niya, tanggumpay ng taong-bayan, tagumpay nating lahat (Her success is the success of the whole nation, the success of all of us). That’s why we wish her well,” he said.

“Gawin na niya ang gusto niyang gawin (She is free to do whatever she wants),” he added.

But opposition Senators admitted Robredo in inexperienced in terms of

Too much

However, Panelo said it was “too much” for the opposition to ask Robredo to select the next PNP chief.

“Masyado silang maraming hinihingi (They have so many demands). You’re given an inch, you try to grab a mile. Kalokohan ‘yun (That’s nonsense),” he said in an interview with reporters.

He said that if the Vice President declines the offer, it would mean that her claim of a failed drug war is untrue.

In a text message to reporters, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said as ICAD co-chair, Robredo will have a “pro-active” role in the government’s war against illegal drugs.

“She will have a hand in crafting the policies and programs of the government and at the same time, ensure the proper implementation of anti-illegal drug operations and advocacy initiatives,” Medialdea said.-with PNA report

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