On VP Robredo’s remarks on the campaign against illegal drugs

The Palace has been informed of the meeting called by Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday, November 8, with the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

We take note that the Vice President called for the meeting to acquaint herself on the status of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, a step demonstrative of her willingness to suspend all her negative notions about the drug war, mostly based on false if not exaggerated information and media hype.

In that meeting, VP Leni stressed that the campaign against illegal narcotics can succeed even without bloodshed. Noting that the pronounced policy of the Drug Czar appears to be in direct contrast of what they wrongly perceive to be the bloody strategy of PRRD, the detractors and nitpickers pounce on the apparent strategic contradiction and have raised the spectre of, even this early, a collision between the appointee and the appointing power.

The Vice President must be given a wide latitude in outlining her own anti-illegal drug scheme and pursue, without interference from other quarter backers, her own agenda which she envisions to be effective in addressing the drug menace.

We are pleased to note that VP Leni is open to our suggestion that she oversee – and without putting her life in peril, personally join – any operation by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) or the police against drug lords and pushers, that she may see the hostile and mortal realities on the ground that could pave the way for the reassessment of her previous adversarial position on the government’s relentless drive against prohibited drugs or her adoption of better and effective measures not heretofore done.

We call on everybody to give VP Leni space, allow her to perform her assigned task and not to create roadblocks and imagined conflicts, pitting her against her fellow workers of government by way of intrigues, as well as wild and off-tangent speculations engineered by the usual suspects.

Salvador S. Panelo

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel

& Presidential Spokesperson

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