Robredo will fail if she leads the drug war – PDEA chief Aquino

Rambo Talabong

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Robredo will fail if she leads the drug war – PDEA chief Aquino

'Wala siyang kaalaman sa ilegal na droga,' says Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino doubts that Vice President Leni Robredo could lead the government’s anti-drug campaign, saying that she will surely fail if she accepts President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to be the country’s drugs czar.

“If you ask me, she will fail,” Aquino said on Monday, November 4, at CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Why this matters. As leader of PDEA and the longest-serving PDEA chief under the Duterte administration, Aquino is, by law, the chief implementer of the anti-drug campaign.

Should Robredo take up the President’s offer, she will work closely with Aquino, but it appears that as early as now, Aquino has no confidence in the Vice President’s ability to oversee a massive law enforcement campaign.

Why the mistrust? For Aquino, Robredo simply does not have enough experience, stressing that while he accumulated his knowledge of the drug trade for decades – serving before as a policeman – Aquino said, “Wala siyang kaalaman sa ilegal na droga (she does not know anything about illegal drugs).”

Aquino added that President Duterte, meanwhile, knows the ins and outs of the illicit drugs system as he has served as prosecutor in Davao City for decades. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.