Dela Rosa says Robredo should be at the 'forefront' of war vs drugs

MANILA, Philippines – Erstwhile top cop and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa seconded suggestions that Vice President Leni Robredo should join anti-drug operations, even as he himself didn't join those raids when he was the police chief.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart Tuesday, November 12, Dela Rosa was asked if Robredo should join drug raids as anti-drug czar.

"If you're leading the war, you should be at the forefront of the fight para alam na alam niya 'yung situation (so she understands the situation)," said Dela Rosa.

"Mas maganda, para makita niya yung realities on the ground. Mahirap yung you are leading the war inside an air-conditioned room. (It's better, so she can see the realities on the ground. It's hard to lead a war inside an airconditioned room)," Dela Rosa said.

Robredo accepted President Rodrigo Duterte's offer for her to be the new co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

During their first meeting, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino had first floated the idea of Robredo joining law enforcers in one of the operations. Malacañang had supported the idea.

While Dela Rosa echoed Aquino's suggestion, the senator however, admitted that it was risky for the vice president.

"Baka ma-compromise naman safety ng Vice President. Kung may isang bala lang diyan na pupunta sa kaniya delikado siya. Nasa kaniya na, nasa dibdib niya kung kaya niyang i-risk ang kaniyang buhay, then sumama siya pero yun nga may risk talaga," said the senator.

(It might compromise the Vice President’s safety. Just one bullet going her way would risk her life. It’s up to her if she’s willing yo risk her life, then let her join. But then there’s the risk.)

When he was still top cop, Dela Rosa did not join anti-illegal drug raids, except when they conducted "TokHang" or when police officers knocked on the doors of suspected drug users.

Cops don't consider TokHang as an anti-drug operation.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, another former top cop in the upper chamber, earlier said that it would not be advisable for Robredo to join such operations as her security detail might be compromised during the raid. (READ: Lacson's advice to Robredo: 'Watch your back' as drug czar–

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.