Whenever Vice President Leni Robredo speaks — and she does a lot of speaking — she always does so in a vacuum. Either she is entirely clueless, or her speechwriters are.
We’ve all seen that infamous video message she sent to a UN Conference wherein she maligned the her own government and country, mimicking allegations of drug-related summary killings and misrepresenting the Philippine National Police’s anti-drug strategy of “Palit-ulo.”
Robredo was the guest at a forum in the University of the Philippines in Los Baños when she was challenged by a student to offer an alternative to the government’s war on drugs.
She said the government should study the best practices by countries that found solutions to the drug menace, and cited Portugal as a “triumphant” example, noting how the European nation dramatically shifted its focus from looking at drug abuse punitively to treating it as a health issue requiring treatment and reintegration.
Once again, Robredo chose to be oblivious to what’s been happening under President Duterte’s war on drugs.
Where was Robredo when hundreds of thousands of drug addicts and users voluntarily surrendered to the government? Where was she when the mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija opened? Where was she when Duterte ordered free medicines to drug addicts seeking treatment? Where was she lately when the administration forged an unusual alliance with the Philippine Catholic Church to jointly establish and manage drug rehabilitation programs?
Treatment and reintegration you say?
Perhaps the Vice President should cut down on her foreign travels and speaking engagements and immerse herself in the true laylayan happenings — outside of her Quezon City mansion office.
And oh, Madam VP, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. What didn’t work in Colombia might just work perfectly in the Philippines, and what triumph Portugal achieved might even become a super-triumph in our country.
The Philippines’ drug problem is more expansive than that of Portugal, or even Colombia. It is not just about drug users. It’s also about the narcopoliticians and drug syndicates who benefit immensively from the illegal drug trade. There is no “one size fits all” solution to what our government is up against.
Open your eyes and ears Madam, and don’t just rely on the people around you who have done nothing but keep you in a bubble.