PNP still considers Robredo as ally in drug war

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said on Thursday, November 21, that they still consider Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo as an ally in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

"Of course, oo naman," Gamboa said when asked if he sees Robredo as an ally or an enemy in the drug war.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he does not trust Robredo.

Duterte made the statement Tuesday night, about two weeks after he appointed Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (Icad).

The committee is headed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general.

Robredo stirred up a hornets' nest when she asked the PDEA to furnish her office with a copy of the government's list of high-value targets.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino denied Robredo's request for information, a move that earned Duterte's nod.

The President cited this reason for his refusal to give Robredo a Cabinet post as he had offered.

Gamboa also seconded Aquino’s refusal, saying the list is classified information that should not be made easily accessible to anyone.

In an interview with the media Tuesday night, Duterte lashed out at Robredo and called her a scatterbrain for meeting with international groups on possible assistance to the country’s drug war.

However, Gamboa said they support Robredo.

"We support her. Lest, we would have not attended the meetings with her," he said.

Duterte’s statement has prompted Robredo to write him a letter to clarify the scope and limitations of her role.

Gamboa earlier said that it is better that Robredo focus on the preventive and rehabilitation aspects of the drug war instead of intervening in the law enforcement side.

Aquino was earlier quoted as saying that he wants Robredo to join the police during anti-drug operations.

"The Vice President, through the Icad, requested to the President to define her role. Let us leave it at that," said Gamboa. (SunStar Philippines)