Panelo says Robredo can use drug war files as ICAD co-chair

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's administration is transparent when it comes to its intensified crackdown on illegal drugs in the country, MalacaAang said on Sunday.

Unang-una, wala namang tinatago ang gobyerno sa mga record. Nakabukas naman iyan eh (First and foremost, the government is not hiding anything about the [drug war] records. It's open to the public), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview with dzIQ.

The Palace official made the statement, when asked about the possibility that Vice President Leni Robredo, as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), might use the confidential information about the government's conduct of drug war against the President and his administration.

Panelo stressed that the intelligence report obtained by law enforcement agencies merely contains particulars of the drug personalities.

Kapag sinabi mong intelligence report, sino ang mga involved sa droga ang nandoon at yun naman ang sinusundan lahat ng ahensya so ano naman ang masama doon (When you say intelligence report, it includes details about those involved in illegal drugs. And all law enforcement agencies rely on that. So, what's wrong with that)? he said.

Duterte appointed Robredo as ICAD co-chairperson until June 30, 2022, after being piqued by the Vice President's recent claim that his drug war is obviously not working.

On Saturday, Robredo said she will meet with officials of the United States (US) and the United Nations (UN) to discuss the Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs.

Her latest statement came, even as she earlier preferred to first solve the drug problem in the country internally, before asking foreign interventions.

The US, under the leadership of American President Donald Trump, has praised Duterte for an unbelievable job in handling the drug problem in the Philippines.

The UN, meantime, has been critical of Duterte's drug war. On July 17, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Iceland-led resolution that seeks a probe into the anti-narcotics campaign initiated by the President.

Sought to react to Robredo's openness to working with the US and the UN, Panelo reiterated the Palace's stance that it would let the Vice President to act alone as the country's drug czar.

The Palace official also maintained that Robredo's backers should refrain from interfering in the government's fight against illegal drugs.

Hayaan natin si VP Leni as drug czar na gumawa ng kanyang diskarte. Hindi pupwede kasi yung mga maraming quarter backers, nitpickers, maraming haka-haka, maraming mga spekulasyon (Let VP Leni do her own strategy as drug czar. There should be no many quarter backers, nitpickers, rumors, and speculations), Panelo said.

Hayaan natin muna mag-trabaho yung ale, pabayaan natin, suportahan natin. (Let her do her job. Support her but let her act alone), he added.

Robredo accepted the challenge to lead the government's anti-narcotics campaign, but stressed that she would not allow the senseless killings of drug personalities in the country.

Asked if the Vice President's planned zero-casualty on drug war is doable, Panelo said it would be up to her strategies.

Siya ang didiskarte diyan kung ano ang dapat na ipatupad niya bilang isang puno ng isang ahensya na magpapatupad ng lahat ng batas laban sa mga involved sa droga (It depends on her strategies as the head of the committee that will implement all the laws against those involved in illegal drugs), he said.

Hindi pa nga nagu-umpisa, binibigyan na natin ng roadblock (She is yet to formally perform her duties, and yet, we're already giving her a roadblock). Let us wish her well and let us support her, Panelo added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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