VP vows to enforce anti-drug drive within the law

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VICE President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo on Friday vowed to enforce the state’s anti-illegal drug campaign “within the bounds of the rule of law.”

“I am all for a strong national policy against illegal drugs and Iam all for a vigorous anti-drug campaign but having said that, I also feel that we need to do things right,” Ms. Robredo said at a briefing streamed on her Facebook page.

“Everything we’re doing should be within the bounds of the rule of law,” she said before meeting with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino, her co-head in an interagency task force against illegal drugs.

Ms. Robredo said she would treat the drug problem not only as a crime, but also as a health issue.

The meeting that she called was meant to give her access to data on the drug campaign.

Ms. Robredo again cited the need to re-assess the government strategy against illegal drugs given the rising number of drug dependents.

She said she viewed her appointment by President Rodrigo R. Duterte “as a signal that the president is open to listen to a fresh perspective about the entire campaign.”

Ms. Robredo on Wednesday said she had agreed to head the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign, if only to stop the killings.

The vice president accepted the post against the advice of many of her party mates, who said the appointment might be a trap.

She said she had accepted the president’s offer to become his drug czar — even if this could just be politicking — so she could save innocent lives. — Charmaine A. Tadalan