MANILA—Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Thursday said the Duterte administration should look for other avenues in solving the drug problem in the country.
Robredo’s statement was based on government’s plan to revive the Philippine Constabulary that will take over the role of police to help the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in combating illegal drugs.
“I think there has to be some other way of doing this,” Robredo said.
She said giving blanket authority to a fractured institution like the Philippine National Police will lead the country to nowhere as she admitted she supports President Rodrigo Duterte on internal cleansing of the police force.
Robredo said rogue cops may have been “encouraged” by the said support, which manifested most through the repeated pronouncements of support in case somebody files complaint in the anti-drug war.
She revealed that a group of Filipino-Chinese businessmen even sought her office’s help who said “many of their members have been victimized” by rouge cops.
It was the Vice President who exposed the abduction and killing of South Korean business Jee Ick Joo after she was informed of the incident.
The said incident prompted the President to order the dismantling of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group. He assigned PDEA to take over the anti-drug campaign.
Outraged by Jee’s death, allegedly in the hands of police officers, Duterte slammed the PNP as “corrupt to the core.”
President Duterte had warned law enforcers that he would kill them if he finds out that they are involved in illegal activities, but repeatedly said he would stand by soldiers and policemen if they got into trouble in line of duty.
Robredo noted that she and “so many people” foresaw that such support would lead to abuses.