Vice President Leni Robredo has called on the police to file charges against suspected drug traffickers instead of going on a killing spree.
Robredo, who used to work as a lawyer for the poor before her political career, issued the
statement in light of the killing of at least 136 people suspected of being drug traffickers in the last 12 days of the Duterte administration.
Under existing laws, the harshest punishment for a drug trafficking convict is life imprisonment.
“We encourage authorities concerned to look into these cases. If there is really culpability, then justice requires that appropriate cases be filed and that those proven to be accountable be punished,” Robredo said a day after she attended her first Cabinet meeting in Malacañang as the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
Robredo’s stance comes at the heels of the bold declaration of Solicitor General Jose Calida that the Duterte administration will not allow anybody to derail the implementation by Philippine National Police (PNP) of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to stop drug trafficking in the country.
In addition, Calida said that he would be the neutralizer and defender of the PNP.
“We support President Duterte’s declaration that the fight against drugs and crime must be done with an uncompromising exercise of the rule of law. [But] while we are one with the fight against drugs, we are concerned with the growing culture of vigilantism and violence,” Robredo argued.
“We hope that the war is not done at the expense of the innocent and defenseless,” she added.
The Vice President, however, is confident that the President will do the right thing.
“Since the President is a lawyer and former prosecutor, we trust that he will do what is appropriate,” Robredo said.
Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said Robredo spent the whole day in Malacañang on Monday where she and the rest of the Cabinet members had an orientation of government processes and direction setting and a discussion on the Duterte administration’s priorities and plans.
“The Vice President was warmly received by her fellow Cabinet Secretaries and she’s set to convene her own team to plan this week,” Hernandez said in a separate statement.
LLANESCA T. PANTI