U.S. expresses 'full support' for PH anti-drug campaign – Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – As a longtime friend of the Philippines, the United States has indicated its "full support and cooperation" in the country's anti-drug campaign, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday, November 13.

Robredo, co-chair of the government’s Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD), made the statement after meeting with a delegation from the US embassy, composed of officials representing several US agencies.

“Ipinahiwatig nila ang kanilang buong suporta at kooperasyon sa ating kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. At, bilang kaibigan ng Pilipinas, gagawin nila ang lahat para tayo ay magtagumpay sa laban na ito,” said Robredo, who called for the meeting in her Quezon City office. (READ: The gamble of Leni Robredo)

(They indicated their full support and cooperation in our campaign against illegal drugs. And, as a friend of the Philippines, they will do everything they can so we can win this fight.) 

The officials were from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the US Agency for International Development.

Robredo said among the topics they discussed were the need to have a “clear baseline data” on the drug situation in the Philippines, possible amendments to Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and strengthening the ongoing programs on drug use prevention and community-based drug rehabilitation. (READ: Robredo opens ICAD meet: The enemy is drugs, not people

In a separate statement, the US embassy said it formed an inter-agency US government working-level delegation to meet with Robredo when she requested for a meeting.  

The US embassy said its officials briefed the Vice President "on the current state of US-Philippines counter-narcotics cooperation, and on ongoing and potential US government-funded programs to assist the Philippine government efforts in drug demand reduction."

The Vice President earlier said she wanted to seek help from US intelligence on how to go after big-time drug lords

“Matagal na ang ugnayan ng aming opisina sa Embahada ng Amerika. Nagtulungan na kami sa iba’t ibang proyekto. Nagpapasalamat ako na naging agaran ang kanilang pakikipagkita sa akin matapos ang aking pagkakatalaga,” said Robredo, whose strategy against illegal drugs is focused on drug demand reduction and rehabilitation.

(My office has long been in contact with the US Embassy. We have been working on different projects. I thank them for immediately meeting with me after I was appointed.) 

The Vice President planned to meet with other local and international organizations as she moves to reform Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. (READ: 5 fatal obstacles in Robredo’s target of a deathless drug war)

More than 6,000 people have been killed in anti-drug operations. Human rights groups, however, estimate the numbers could reach almost 27,000 to include victims of vigilante-style killings. (READ: The Impunity Series) – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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