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VP Robredo on controversial remark: “I called for review and assessment, not the end of war on drugs”

FILE PHOTO: Vice President Leni Robredo REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/Files

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday issued a clarification stating that she only called for an assessment on the controversial war on drugs campaign of the government, and not the end of it.

On her weekly AM radio show “BISErbisyong LENI,” Robredo stated that the headline made by international news outfit Reuters during her interview was wrong. The headline of the article dated October 23 was: “Philippine vice president says time for Duterte to halt failed drug war.”

READ: Philippine vice president says time for Duterte to halt failed drug war

Robredo stood on her ground and said that she only asked for the administration to review and assess the strategies needed to administer the controversial campaign which has earned irk and criticism from local and international human rights organizations.

“Kapag tiningnan mo… iyong interview ko, iba iyong sinabi ko. Kapag tiningnan mo iyong interview ko, ang sinabi ko, dapat i-assess ng pamahalaan kung tama pa ba iyong strategy na ginagamit. Kasi kung mali na, kailangang i-tweak. ‘Di ba… ang gustong sabihin ng “tweak,” himasin, o ibahin nang kaunti,” the Vice President said.

“Kaya iyong— Nabasa ko iyong headline, eh; mali iyon. Iyong headline, mali, kasi binalikan ko iyong video, binalikan ko iyong transcript, wala akong sinabing ihinto iyong kampanya. Ang sinabi ko, i-tweak. At kapag i-tweak, i-assess lang kung ano iyong mali,” Robredo insisted.

In the said article, Reuters quoted Robredo’s statement saying: “We ask ourselves, ‘why is this still happening?’. The president has already made very serious threats to drug syndicates, to drug lords … and yet it’s still very prevalent, so obviously, it’s not working.”

“We have seen a lot of police that has abused their powers and not been penalized so this is where the International Criminal Court could come in, if we do not show the world that we can take care of our own mess,” she added on the said interview.

On her show, Robredo cited the data gathered by the Dangerous Drugs Board and President Rodrigo Duterte showing a rapid growth in the number of drug addicts in the country.

“If you started with 1.4 million and it ballooned to seven to eight million despite the campaign, something is not working,” she said.
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) on Saturday said it was “saddened” to hear the remarks made by Robredo herself, noting that she must have been ‘misled’ in the real meaning of the anti-drug campaign.
“It seems that up until now, the vice president is misled in understanding the anti-drug campaign. Authorities continue to address the domestic drug issues using a holistic, balanced and comprehensive approach,” it said in a statement.

“It appears that VP Robredo is only looking at one side of the campaign. While enforcement issues are more evident, we cannot discount the successes we have gained in the demand reduction part of the campaign,” the agency added.


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