Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa gave a piece of advice to Vice President Leni Robredo, a day after she accepted the task as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“This is war, giyera ito; you have to fight, hindi ka pwedeng pacute-cute dito,” Dela Rosa said to reporters at the Senate.
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) was among those who spearheaded the controversial and highly-criticized war on drugs campaign.
“Ang sinalihan niya is war on drugs at ang kalaban mo diyan ay mga sira ulo, ang kalaban mo diyan ay malalaking sindikato. So how can you wage a war without fighting? So, she has to fight. She has to be tough,” the senator also added.
On Wednesday, Robredo formally accepted her appointment as co-chairperson of the ICAD, a Cabinet position.
“Kung ito ang pagkakataon para matigil ang patayan ng mga inosente at mapanagot ang kailangan managot, papasanin ko ito,” Robredo said during a press conference.
The Vice President pointed out that she did not ask for the position and that President Duterte came up with the idea of having her oversee the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government.
“Mula simula, ang gusto ko ay ang maging maayos ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Itigil ang pagpatay sa mga inosente. Panagutin ang mga abusadong opisyal tulad ng mga ninja cops at mga nagpalusot ng tone-toneladang shabu,” Robredo said after announcing that she accepted the position.
“Bigyan ng hustisya at boses ang mga pamilya ng mga pinaslang na walang kasalanan. Habulin ang mga malalaking drug lords na talagang sumisira sa ating lipunan, hindi lang ang maliliit na nagtutulak sa kanto-kanto,” she added.
Dela Rosa pointed out one of the things Robredo is considering in her new post, which is saving the lives of some people involved in the drug proliferation in the country.
“Kung maiwasan ang killings, iwasan. Pero how do you…war na ito eh, kalaban natin eh mga siraulo, kalaban natin mga aramado,” the senator said.
When asked on his comment on the acceptance of Robredo on the said post hailed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Dela Rosa said he didn’t expect much since she “comes from the other side of the fence.”
“Sa opposition siya so sana pagpasok niya diyan sa giyera na ‘yan, i-assume niya ang role niya as ‘Ako’y isang Pilipino, gusto kong linisin ang aking bansa sa droga.’ Hindi papasok na ‘Ako’y isang opposition, babantayan ko ‘yung mga ginagawa ng administrasyon na ito, kung anong mali haharangin ko’, he noted.
Dela Rosa then proceeded on thanking Robredo for joining the drug war, saying that it could possibly be “more successful” with the presence of the second-highest official in the country.
“Isipin mo, number two highest official in the country sumama sa ating war on drugs. So, I’m so happy. From the bottom of my heart, I thank her for joining in this fight. I’m very optimistic, mas lalong magiging successful ‘yung ating war on drugs with her on board dahil additional perspective on the war on drugs, the more the merrier,” he said.