Should she win as president in the 2022 elections, Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said the government’s anti-drug war will stay, but she will use a different approach.
“The campaign would also be intensified but in a different way. What we had was too heavy on the enforcement side,” she said.
“We cannot go on enforcement alone because in the past five years, so many people have died. The question is, were drugs eradicated? No,” she added.
Robredo also said that the Mandanas ruling, which gives a bigger Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to local government units (LGUs), is a great opportunity for them to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents.
The Vice President said controlling and mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the number one priority in her platform of governance.
She stressed that the country should start moving forward despite COVID-19 and ensure that the people’s new normal “will be better than the previous normal.”
Robredo said she would give priority to anti-poverty programs and would continue the Duterte administration’s infrastructure drive.
She maintained her belief that there were problems in the drug war campaign under the Duterte administration, as what she had observed during her brief stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in 2019.
ICAD must be chaired by the Dangerous Drugs Board for a more holistic approach, and not by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency whose mandate was enforcement.
“I believe that if DDB is the chair, its plan would not only be ‘kill, kill, kill.’ Its plan would really be comprehensive, heavy on prevention, heavy on rehabilitation,” Robredo said.
When asked about her platform, the Vice President said she would focus more on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We did such a terrible job in the last one and a half years. The ranking of Bloomberg just came out yesterday (Thursday) that we are last again,” she said.
“We need to fix it. We need to fix the economy. We need to open our economy. We need to make sure enough funds are allocated to the most affected people, organizations and businesses,” she added.