Gamboa assures Robredo of support, but advises vs raids

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa on Monday, November 11, expressed support for Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, but advised her against joint anti-drug operations.

"I know it was practically a new thing to her dahil wala naman siyang exposure dito and of course there are suggestions nga na huwag siya sumama sa illegal drugs operation. It would also risk her life in that operation," Gamboa said in a press conference in Camp Crame.

"As a matter of fact, we generals do not join illegal drugs operations probably because during our younger days, we were exposed to this," he added.

He said Robredo, as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (Icad), should focus on how to boost the rehabilitation of the drug users who either surrendered or were arrested.

"Under her leadership, the PNP looks forward to intensified anti-illegal drugs operations and rehabilitation of drug users, upholding the rule of law," he said.

Gamboa vowed to fully support Robredo and said he was willing to guide her on the law enforcement aspect of the drug war.

“We will make her as comfortable as possible,” he said.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Robredo as the co-chairperson of Icad, which is led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general.

Robredo accepted the challenge, saying it would give her the opportunity to stop the drug-related killings.

Meanwhile, Gamboa said they are willing to work on the possible changes in how the drug war is waged after Robredo sought its re-assessment.

“In any government approach, dapat (it should be) dynamic because time changes. Ako personally, I would like to open up options,” he said.

“Kasi (Because) we had a drug war which I think is very successful, but if there is a need to recalibrate and maybe touch a few points, study it, then the PNP is open to it,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)