PNP ready for any changes to be made by Robredo on drug war; Gamboa cautions VP on joining drug ops

Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo (R) attends a press conference with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino in Manila on November 8, 2019. – Robredo, the vocal critic that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been named to a lead role in his deadly drug war, on November 8 calling for a revamp of the crackdown and ending its “senseless” killing. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)


(Eagle News) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready for any changes in the Philippine government’s drug war that would be instituted by Vice President Leni Robredo now that she had been given the full authority to lead the anti-illegal drugs campaign by President Rodrigo Duterte.

PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, said that the PNP is looking forward to an intensified anti-illegal drugs operation and rehabilitation of drug users with Robredo as the new anti-illegal drugs czar.

“In any government approach, dapat (it should be) dynamic because time changes. Personally, I would like to open up options because we had a drug war which I think is very successful. But if there is a need to recalibrate and maybe touch a few points, study it, then the PNP is open to it,” Gamboa said.

In the PNP’s briefing for Robredo on the anti-illegal drugs campaign, he said that the whole police force would support the Vice-President’s suggestions to the drug war that had earlier been criticized widely by local and international rights groups.

“Under her leadership, the PNP looks forward to intensified anti-illegal drug operations and rehabilitation of drug users, upholding the rule of law,” Gamboa told a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday.

But Gamboa said he is advising Robredo not to join anti-illegal drugs operations as it would put her life at risk.

“I know it was practically a new thing to her dahil wala naman siyang exposure dito (she has no exposure to it) and of course, there are suggestions nga na huwag siya sumama sa (for her not to join) anti-illegal drugs operations. It would also risk her life in that operation,” he said.

Gamboa said that even high-ranking police generals do not usually join anti-drug operations.

Last week, even National Capital Region Police Office chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, expressed concerns for Robredo’s security if she would indeed join police anti-illegal drug operations on the ground.

But he said that this could also be good for Robredo so that she can see what actual operations entail and how these pose danger even to the policemen.

“We don’t sacrifice our leaders. If there is a request from her and she wants to join, it’s good because at least, she can see police operations in action. We can make arrangements for her,” Sinas said.

The NCRPO chief that the PNP would be ready anytime that the Vice-President would have the available time to join such operations.

“Why not? If she is available, it’s fine. But of course, she is the Vice President. Her security is important and the security personnel assigned to here might not allow it,” Sinas told reporters on Friday.