Vice President and newly-appointed drug czar Leni Robredo met United States law enforcement and aid officials on Wednesday in Manila to discuss possible partnerships on improving the Philippines’ anti-illegal drug campaign.
According to the statement Robredo sent to the press, she had a comprehensive briefing with the delegations from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US State Department, US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Napag-usapan din ang mga kakulangan sa kasalukuyang kampanya at ang mga tulong na maaari pa nilang maibigay para lalong paigtingin ang kampanya laban sa droga,” Robredo said.
“Kabilang dito ang pagkakaroon ng malinaw na baseline data tungkol sa sitwasyon ng droga sa bansa, pag-aralan ang mga maaaring pag-amyenda sa Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act para tiyaking angkop pa rin ito sa ating kasalukuyang pangangailangan, at ang pagpapalakas ng mga programa para sa drug use prevention at community-based drug rehabilitation,” she added.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy said in an emailed statement that they had discussed “the current state of US-Philippines counter-narcotics cooperation,” as well as the “ongoing and potential US government funded programs to assist the Philippine government efforts in drug demand reduction.”
VP’s established relationship with US Embassy
Robredo also mentioned that her office has already an established relationship with the US Embassy as they have been working together in different projects.
“Nagpapasalamat ako na naging agaran ang kanilang pakikipagkita sa akin matapos ang aking pagkakatalaga,” she said.
In response, she stated the US agencies expressed their full support and cooperation in the country’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Earlier, the Vice President told the media that she wanted to meet the US Embassy to know how their administration works when it comes to capturing drug lords.
The Philippines and the US have long been in collaboration, from exchanging information to providing trainings, to combat the illegal drug operations.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte designated Robredo to co-chair Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, which the latter has accepted later on.
Since then, she has been vocal about her plan to turn the bloody war of the government into a more “humane approach” and to put an end to “unnecessary” killings.
Although her party warned her that the President offered the position as a set up, Robredo said she took the job because she believes that this is an opportunity to stop the killings.
She said the country could take a lot from what other countries have experienced, particularly those that have handled the war through public health approach.