MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday continues to hunt cohorts of the foreign drug traffickers who were killed in an operation in Zambales and three others who were nabbed in Bataan to put an end to their operations in the country.PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, tasked… Read More
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the anti-drug operatives who conducted a buy-bust operation in Zambales that resulted in the death of four Chinese nationals.In a pre-recorded Talk to the People delivered Tuesday night but aired Wednesday morning, Duterte said law enforcement… Read More
The “Real Numbers” data being released by the Philippine government is the most accurate source of information on the campaign against illegal drugs in the country, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Tuesday.PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon made this comment in… Read More
Malacañang on Thursday expressed confidence that President Rodrigo Duterte would still be able to fulfill his promise of a drug-free Philippines before he steps down in 2022.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman… Read More
Vice President Leni Robredo said she would not care if she is fired as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), the lead agency in the government’s war against drugs..
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Robredo to the ICAD post so she can contribute to the anti-illegal drugs campaign, after the Vice President criticized the government’s war on drugs. The President, during a late evening press conference on Tuesday, said he does not trust Robredo with classified information related to the government’s drug war, and warned she would fire her if she shares the information with foreign governments or foreign groups.
Duterte said she could no longer trust Robredo because she is consulting with foreign governments and for her repeated claim of alleged violations of human rights in the government’s war on drugs.
In the press conference, Duterte also called Robredo as a “scatterbrain” with “knee jerk” impulses.
Robredo yesterday, said she would immediately pack up and resign her ICAD post if Duterte himself will ask her to leave.
“If he thinks he committed a mistake in appointing me and wants to revoke it, he should just say so,” the Vice President told reporters after emerging from a meeting with officials of the Dangerous Drugs Board in Quezon City.“He should tell me directly. I’m easy to talk to.”
Robredo denied news reports that she had invited a foreign human rights advocate and prosecutors of the International Criminal Court to come to the country to probe human rights violations and extra-judicial killings in the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs; as well as her reported meetings with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Had direct control and supervision over the operation…until he was administratively relieved
Retired Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde was aware of the details of the November 2013 controversial anti-drug raid by his men who were tagged as ‘ninja cops’ in Pampanga, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Monday.
“He had direct control and supervision over the operation…until he was administratively relieved,” the CIDG said in its reply-affidavit signed by Lt. Col. Julius B. Sagandoy and Lt. Col. Dennis L. Wagas.
“Despite knowledge of the irregularities in the said operations, he remained mum and even applauded respondents Baloyo and his team for a job well done,” they added.
Albayalde was Pampanga police chief when Maj. Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo IV led the raid at the house rented by Johnson Lee located at Lot 21 and 22 Narra corner Waling Waling Streets, Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeshore, Barangay Divisoria in Mexico town on November 29, 2013.
Albayalde was administratively relieved and placed on floating status from his post in March 2014, four months after the incident.
The CIDG pointed out that Baloyo’s team failed to comply with the “chain of custody” required by the law and “failed to immediately mark the seized illegal drugs”
“Respondent (Police General) Albayalde was fully informed about every detail that was happening during the raid, including, but not limited to the marked money, pre-arranged signal, suspects’ arrest and confiscation of suspected shabu placed in one open luggage and one medium size box.
“Albayalde was aware that the recovered shabu with an actual weight of 36.68 kilograms and the cash money were turned over to authorities,” the PNP-CIDG said.
Albayalde bowed out of the service on Friday after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said there is not enough proof to charge Albayalde administratively but said he is liable for command responsibility. (PNA)
VP must pursue anti-drug czar role sans interference
Vice President Leni Robredo’s “backers” must not intervene, as she performs her duties as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Malacañang said on Saturday.
“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,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. Robredo belongs to the opposition Liberal Party, whose members are collectively known as the Yellow Group or “dilawans” in political parlance.
Robredo held her first meeting with ICAD member agencies at her office in New Manila, Quezon City on Friday afternoon, two days after she accepted President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s challenge to lead the anti-narcotics campaign by serving as co-chair of the anti-drug body.
She will serve as ICAD co-chairperson, along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino, until June 30, 2022.
After her first ICAD meeting, Robredo set the tone for an evidence-based approach to the drug problem, which she said would prevent “senseless” killings in the conduct of operations against drug personalities.
While she emphasized that the drug problem in the country “should first be solved internally,” Robredo was amenable to a possible intervention of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), if the Philippine government fails to punish drug offenders.
The 47-man UNHRC on July 11 adopted the Iceland-led resolution that seeks a probe into Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. The adoption of the resolution mandates UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to present a “comprehensive” report on the drug war in the Philippines during the council’s 44th session in June 2020.
On July 17, the President made it clear that he would ignore the investigation that would be initiated by the UNHRC, as he is only inclined to face a “Philippine court.”
“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,” Panelo said.
He urged the public, especially those who are opposed to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, to refrain from creating “roadblocks and imagined conflicts” that may sow discord between Robredo and the ICAD members.
“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,” Panelo said.
No Duterte order for ‘bloody’ drug war
About 5,779 drug personalities died in legitimate police anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2019, based on data released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on November 6.
Despite the drug-related killings, Panelo said the President did not order a “bloody” war against drug suspects.
“In that meeting, VP Leni stressed that the campaign against illegal narcotics can succeed even without bloodshed,” he said. “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 specter of, even this early, a collision between the appointee and the appointing power.”
The PNP and the PDEA have assured Robredo that the government’s anti-drug operations would be conducted within the bounds of the law.
Aquino has asked Robredo to join actual operations against illegal drugs for a better understanding of the anti-narcotics drive.
Robredo accepted the offer, saying that she would like to see the real drug situation in the country.
Panelo said the Palace is “pleased” with Robredo’s openness to joining any operation by the PDEA or the PNP against drug lords and pushers, “without putting her life in peril.”
“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,” he said.
Solve problems internally
After her meeting with the ICAD, Robredo said she believes the Philippines should initially be given a chance to solve its illegal drug problems internally.
“I have said this time and again that I feel that our problem should first be solved internally. If I was already of the impression after going around, after meeting with the different clusters, after having all the information that I need to have, if I believe that the government is not doing anything to punish whoever needs to be punished or to put to justice whatever needs to be put to justice, then I don’t have any problems with inviting them over,” she said when asked by a reporter regarding her position in letting the UN conduct a review on the country’s situation with regards to its anti-illegal drug campaign.
Meanwhile, Robredo said her meeting with the ICAD as its new co-chair has updated her on what relevant agencies have been implementing to stop the proliferation of drugs, during which the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) was also discussed.
While the initial meeting was only intended to brief the vice president, Robredo said she proposed the addition of two success indicators in the PADS – the monitoring of the surrenderers and the progress of those who have undergone rehabilitation. (PNA)
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Friday said Vice President Leni Robredo is welcome to join police operations as part of the government’s anti-drug campaign.
WELCOME TO JOIN OPS. NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas says Vice President and ICAD co-chairperson Leni Robredo can join anti-illegal drug operations by police officers, in a press briefing at the Quezon City Police District on Friday (Nov. 8, 2019). In response to Robredo’s pronouncements of a zero-killing target for the anti-drug campaign, Sinas said police officers will defend themselves from armed suspects especially if warranted by the situation. (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)
President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will fully support Vice President Leni Robredo who has agreed to be the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Malacañang said. READ MORE
Duterte expects Robredo to see ‘realities’ of anti-drug campaign
Duterte has welcomed Robredo’s acceptance of his formal offer for her to co-chair the ICAD, Malacañang said on Thursday.
During the 43rd Cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday night, Duterte was optimistic that Robredo would realize the importance of his administration’s intensified crackdown on illegal drugs, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“The President mentioned it was good that Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo accepted his formal offer to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs,” the Palace official said.
On Wednesday, Robredo announced her decision to accept her designation as co-chairperson of ICAD, an anti-drug body that is mandated to ensure the implementation of all policies, laws, and issuances on the government’s anti-narcotics drive.
“With the Vice President at the helm of the anti-narcotics campaign, President Duterte expects that the former would see the realities on the ground, particularly with respect to the government’s position against extrajudicial or state-sponsored killings,” Panelo said
Robredo’s acceptance came even after her spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, claimed that her appointment was “unclear” and “non-existent”.
Robredo will lead ICAD, along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino, until June 30, 2022, according to the memorandum signed by Duterte on October 31.
The memorandum also directed the PDEA, the Philippine National Police, the Dangerous Drugs Board, and all other law enforcement agencies to extend their “full assistance and cooperation” to Robredo to ensure the success of the administration’s fight against illegal drugs.
Duterte was prompted to name Robredo as ICAD co-chair after the latter claimed that the government’s anti-drug campaign is “obviously not working”.
Robredo said she would help the administration combat illegal drugs without costing the lives of suspected drug offenders in the country.
Panelo said Duterte pinned hope that Robredo would eventually understand that “deaths occur due to the violent reactions on the part of agents of the illegal drug trade against the strict enforcement of the law”.
Robredo, as co-chair of ICAD, will be given a “pro-active” role in the campaign, as she will have a hand in crafting the government’s anti-drug policies and programs, as well as in the proper implementation of operations against drug offenders.
Duterte and Robredo have yet to meet to discuss her specific mandate in the administration’s efforts to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs.
Malacañang assured Robredo that she will get the support she needs, saying “her success is our success”. (PNA)
Oozing with confidence, Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday dished out a message to critics doubting she would not live up to her new role as the country’s anti-drug czarina.
“Are you ready for me?” Robredo said at the tail-end of her press conference where she announced her acceptance of the offer of President Rodrigo Duterte to be co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-iIlegal Drugs (ICAD).
Duterte has appointed Robredo to the post as the Vice President, a vocal critic of the government’s war on drugs, continued to moan the thousands of dead drug personalities in Duterte’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
Robredo’s message may as well be addressed to Duterte.
Robredo said she accepted the offer even as she suspect that Duterte was not sincere in offering her the ICAD post and that she expected that the Duterte administration would try to make her fail in her added job as anti-drug czarina.
As ICAD co-chairman, Robredo would be working with 45 other government agencies in the inter-agency body that includes the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
At the press conference, the 54-year old Robredo said she would use her position in ICAD to stop the killings in the President’s crackdown on illegal drugs.
More than 5,000 drug personalities are said to have died in legitimate police operations that started after Duterte won the presidency in 2016.
Human rights organizations, however, estimate the total death toll at more than 27,000.
Robredo said Duterte’s war on drugs is apparently not working, and she hoped to contribute to stop the drug menace and the killings.
“Even if we say this offer is playing politics and that agencies will not follow me and they will do everything for me to fail, I am ready to endure all this because if I could save at least one innocent life, my principles and my heart are telling me, I should give this a try,” Robredo said.