Lacson’s advice to Robredo: ‘Watch your back’ as drug czar

Aika Rey

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Lacson’s advice to Robredo: ‘Watch your back’ as drug czar
Senator Panfilo Lacson says he gave Vice President Leni Robredo some names she could tap to be among her advisers for the war on drugs

MANILA, Philippines – “Watch [your] back all the time.”

These were Senator Panfilo Lacson’s “words of caution” for Vice President Leni Robredo, the new co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

In a phone interview with reporters on Saturday, November 9, Lacson said he met with Robredo on Friday, November 8, to share his law enforcement experience with her.

Lacson is a former chief of the Philippine National Police.

“Maraming pinapasukan diyan, siyempre. Maraming character, especially ‘yung mga pulis (There are rogue officers there, of course. There are a lot of characters especially among the police),” he said.

Lacson suggested that the government’s priorities be “refocused” so as to target supply reduction, instead of the previous Tokhang strategy that primarily targeted drug users.

Lacson added that reducing the drug supply would upset market prices and shift the burden to big-time drug dealers instead. (READ: Robredo to get access to drug war documents, intel – Panelo)

“May mga information din akong ibinigay sa kanya (I also gave her information) on how to deal with big-time drug dealers [and] importers,” the senator said.

“Dapat siguro palawigin ‘yung network ng close coordination with foreign counterparts (We should widen our network of close coordination with our foreign counterparts too),” he added.

Lacson said he gave some names of retired and active cops who could help Robredo with the law enforcement part of the job, but he did not elaborate on who these are.

“Hindi naman kailangan na plantilla ‘yung mga volunteer advisers. ‘Yung mga taong binanggit ko ay more than willing. May mga kasama na former police officers na kasama do’n na wala namang assignment sa gobyerno,” the senator said.

(The volunteer advisers need not be part of the plantilla staff. The names I mentioned are more than willing. Some of them are former police officers who don’t have any current assignment in the government.)

Lacson said his lines of communication will always be open to the Vice President in case she needs his advice, but would rather be in the background being a legislator.

“Just two things: do your job and you have to let the public know how you’re doing your job,” he said. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at