“This is a very welcome development.”

This is what Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Wednesday, November 6, upon learning that Vice President Leni Robredo accepted her designation as co-head of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“We want her to succeed. Sino ba namang Pilipino ang hindi gusto? Isa ang ating layunin. Isa ang ating hangarin,” Go told reporters in the Senate.

President Rodrigo Duterte designated Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in a memorandum signed on October 31, days after Robredo said in an interview that the government’s campaign against drugs has not been effective.

Go said Robredo would be given a chance to deal with the drug problem the way she wants. “Kanya-kanyang method, kanya-kanyang style,” he said.

“Kung ano ang paraang gusto niya, susuportahan namin siya,” he added.

He also clarified that the designation is not a trap, as claimed by some critics of the administration. “Yung nagsasabi na isa sa mga assistant mo na trap ito, it’s not a trap. Kapain mo muna ang sarili mo. Kung walang bayag ang mga assistant mo, ibulong mo na lang sa amin. Kami ang papatay sa drug lord,” Go said.

The Senator said that the President’s decision is in the interest of the Filipino people. “We want her to succeed. Unahin natin ang interes ng karamihan, interes ng bawat Pilipino.”

He also hopes that with Robredo’s contribution, more people will be satisfied with the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign. “Hopefully ang 82 percent na sumasang-ayon sa drug campaign ni Pangulong Duterte ay madagdagan pa ito, maging 90 percent, 100 percent.”

He, however, stressed the need to strengthen further the fight against illegal drugs in order to continue the success of the anti-drug campaign. 

“Ilang Presidente na ba ang dumaan? Nabawasan ba ang drug lord? Nabawasan ba ang droga? Lalong dumami. Ngayon lang po ito nabawasan nang panahon ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said. 

Go said the administration’s tough stance against drug lords has succeeded in reducing their number. “I’m sure kung hindi mo idaan sa takot itong mga drug lord na ito, dadami ang drug lord, dadami ang droga, dadami ang magiging biktimang Pilipino.”

He added that he would also monitor the anti-drug operations under Robredo’s watch, especially the innocent lives that may become victims of drug-related crimes. “With you at the helm, hanggang matapos ang termino mo, ako naman ang magbibilang. Sinasabi mong may inosenteng nadadamay. Ngayon, ako naman ang magbibilang kung ilang inosenteng Pilipino ang magiging biktima ng droga.”

Robredo’s designation is effective until June 30, 2022, unless revoked earlier by the President.

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