Albay solon slams efforts to toss drug problem to Robredo

Published October 29, 2019, 7:10 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Ben Rosario

Oppositionist Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday took to task President Duterte for tossing the responsibility of addressing the country’s drug problem to Vice President Leni Robredo.

Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman (FEDERICO CRUZ / MANILA BULLETIN)
Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman (FEDERICO CRUZ / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be washing his hands of his failed brutal war on drugs, and is tossing the narcotics problem for Vice President Leni Robredo to solve,” he said in a statement.

Lagman, a Liberal Party congressman from Albay, noted that Robredo has been “consistently critical of Duterte’s flawed approach to the drug menace.”

The Duterte solution to the problem that also hounded his predecessors, will result in “mounting extrajudicial killings of mostly impoverished suspects,” said Lagman.

Robredo, LP chairperson, has been very critical of Duterte’s drug war that has resulted in the death of over 3,000 suspected drug pushers and users since it was launched in 2016.

Lagman noted that similar “strong-handed and violence-driven police and military campaigns” have been tried and are still ongoing in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand but have become failures.

This is because “the drug problem is more a poverty issue and a health concern rather than a police matter,” said Lagman.

He said Duterte could not be truly serious about his offer for Robredo to lead the anti-narcotics war.

“Without the corresponding real power and constitutional mandate, Robredo cannot take up the President’s challenge or ruse,” the veteran opposition solons aid.

Lagman added: “She is not the President’s alter ego but his well-meaning critic who has no authority.”

READ MORE: Duterte to yield enforcement power to Robredo