DILG to VP: Work with us to improve fight vs. Illegal drugs

Published November 7, 2019, 10:40 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya on Thursday said Vice-President Leni Robredo can now provide fresh ideas now that she is the co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

DILG undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya (DILG 10 via PIA /  MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya

In welcoming Roberdo to the Cabinet, Malaya said the Vice-President may impart alternative strategies since the administration is one with her in curbing the illegal drug trade in the country.

Robredo earlier called for a reassessment of the Duterte administration’s strategy in combating illegal drugs in the country.

In response, President Duterte appointed her as ICAD co-chairman to give her a clear view of how the government carries out its illegal drug campaign.

Read more: VP Leni accepts appointment as co-chair of ICAD

With her acceptance of the position as ICAD co-chairman, Malaya expressed fervent hope that Robredo will now be more open to the government’s efforts in its anti-drug campaign instead of being critical about it.

“Work with us to improve it,’’ Malaya said.

As ICAD co-chairman, Malaya said the Vice-President will now realize and understand the government’s anti-illegal drive is not a failure.

He pointed to the 85 percent people’s satisfaction rating the government got in the survey.

“How can it be a failed campaign?’’ Malaya asked.

He said the people on the ground are in a much better position to assess the government’s performance in its illegal drugs campaign.

Malaya also said that Robredo’s criticism on the number of drug suspects killed under the Duterte administration was not grounded on actual facts.

“The numbers being floated around are unreasonable and unfair to the law enforcement agencies who are putting their lives on the line every day.”

Reports disclosed that an estimated 6,000 drug suspects have been killed since President Duterte assumed office in 2016 but critics, mostly rights groups, insisted that the figure is way too low and should be at least three folds more.

For her part, Robredo said she accepted the ICAD post in a bid to spare even a single drug suspect from being killed in the government’s anti-drug war.

Read more: DILG vows full support for VP Robredo