Alleged vice president Leni Robredo spent a very brief time as a part of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). During this time, she spent all her energy criticizing the way the administration was tackling the huge drug problem facing the nation. Obviously, she didn’t spend much time learning anything objective about the drug problem. Otherwise, she probably wouldn’t have released her new “report”, the “findings” of which are basically repackaged government data on the extent by which illegal drugs have proliferated in Philippine society.
According to Malacañang, Robredo “threatened” to release the report, implying that she had discovered some irregularities in the administration’s campaign on drugs that would blow up the whole machine like a bomb. Of course, she did not actually discover anything, probably because she was only there for 2 weeks and she didn’t stop grandstanding for a second.
Yes, Robredo’s “breaking news” is nothing new. President Duterte himself has admitted that the drug problem was far more widespread and difficult than he originally estimated when he was still campaigning. As the years went on, the efforts against illegal drugs have found more and more proof that illegal drugs have a vice grip on the country and hard action needs to be taken. Yet amazingly, in the face of all this intimidating challenge, the administration was still able to achieve a huge amount – high-level drug targets and drug den s have been busted. Barangays and communities are being declared drug-free. Communities can walk around with less fear and children don’t have their lives robbed from them by drug use. The streets are being cleaned up while the higher-level distributors are simultaneously being pursued. It is working. Slowly, but working.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Robredo stamping the drug war as a “failure” is just an attempt to remain relevant. Through some twisted logic, Robredo called the campaign against illegal drugs a failure. Why? Because it has only addressed 1% of the drug problem, barely scratching the surface she says.
But a reduction of 1% in 3 years, though not what anyone would hope for, is not by any means a failure. It is a testament to how difficult the problem is to solve. Still, we can always do better, right?
If only Robredo spent as much energy trying to come up with a feasible alternative strategy as she expends on criticizing the administration. All she has said is that she does not agree with the current campaign and she condemns those who are part of it. But she offers nothing except criticism.
Criticism will not keep the Philippines safe from illegal drugs. If we follow her advice, we will lose the 1% ground we have gained as well as the potential to reach 100% eventually. Robredo’s report only reveals that she would rather we roll over and die, just because she doesn’t agree with the administration.