The Philippine National Police (PNP) has vowed to give all out support to Vice President Leni Robredo in her added role as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“The PNP will extend its utmost courtesy, cooperation, and full assistance to the Vice President,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac in an interview.
Malacañang last Tuesday officially released Robredo’s appointment paper to the post she would be sharing with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino.
Banac said the PNP will comply with, and abide by the order of the President.
The PNP spokesman expressed confidence that Robredo can do the job.
“What matters here is the unity and cooperation towards a common goal — to have a drug-free Philippines by 2022 and continue the fight against illegal drugs,” stated Banac.
Robredo formally acepted Wednesday the position and her new duties and responsibilities as the country’s “drug czar”.
The ICAD has 20 government agencies under its wing, including the PNP, Department of National Defense, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), and the National Bureau of Investigation.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte has the inherent continuing authority to create positions and items, as well as to reorganize instrumentalities, within the bureaucracy.
“It is basic legal doctrine that the President, as the sole repository of executive power, has the exclusive and awesome prerogative of control over all offices and officials in the Executive Branch,” Panelo said in response to the remark of Office of the Vice President Spokesperson Barry Gutierrez that Duterte’s offer to Robredo to become the drug czar is insincere because the position is non-existent as per Executive Order No. 15 (s. 2017).
“He has the inherent continuing authority to create positions and items, as well as to reorganize instrumentalities, within the bureaucracy. Contrary to the insinuation, it is unnecessary to amend Executive Order No. 15 (s. 2017). Article 7, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Book III, Title III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the 1987 Administrative Code should be instructive,” Panelo added.
“In offering and appointing VP Leni as Drug Czar, the President is simply being open to suggestions from a critic of the drug war. PRRD believes that there is no better person who can implement such suggestions than the person making them,” Panelo said.
Malacañang on Tuesday announced the designation of Robredo as the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs or (ICAD).
Duterte signed the memorandum designating Robredo as co-chairperson of the ICAD on 31 October 2019. Under the memorandum, Robredo will lead the government’s efforts against illegal drugs until his term ends on 30 June 2022.
PDEA, PNP, DDB and all other law enforcement agencies have also been directed to extend their full assistance and cooperation to the Vice President to ensure the success of the war against illegal drugs.
With Francis T. Wakefield