Robredo to meet with Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs members: Palace

Robredo to meet with ICAD members: Palace
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — A day after accepting the challenge to lead the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has called for her first meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was told by Executive Secretary (ES) Salvador Medialdea through a phone call that Robredo and ICAD members would meet to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to fight illegal drugs.

Panelo said the Palace has yet to get additional information about the planned meeting initiated by the Vice President, who is concurrent ICAD co-chairperson.

Panelo, nevertheless, praised Robredo for her dedication to her duties as the co-chairperson of the ICAD.

“According to ES, the Vice President has already called a meeting for the ICAD. Hindi naman [nakakabigla] (It’s not surprising). Ibig sabihin (It means) she’s very dedicated to assume her new job,” he told Palace reporters.

“Ibig sabihin nagta-trabaho na siya (It means she’s working),” he added.

Robredo confirmed that she will meet with the agencies under the ICAD at her office in Quezon City on Friday.

The ICAD, created through Executive Order 15 inked by Duterte on March 6, 2017, is mandated to ensure that all policies, laws, and issuances on the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign are being implemented.

Apart from Robredo, the anti-drug panel is co-chaired by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director-general Aaron Aquino.

Members of the ICAD include the Dangerous Drugs Board; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Public Attorney’s Office; Office of the Solicitor General; Philippine Coast Guard; Philippine National Police; National Bureau of Investigation; Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Other ICAD members are the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, Justice, Health, Education, Social Welfare, Trade, Agriculture, and Defense, as well as the Customs and Immigration bureaus.

Robredo sought the meeting with ICAD members, even after she has yet to see Duterte and discuss her specific role as the head of the anti-drug body.

Panelo could not confirm whether the President and the Vice President would have a formal one-on-one meeting to talk about the government’s drug war.

But he said it would be up to Robredo, if she wants to pay a courtesy call on Duterte at Malacañan Palace.

“Nasa sa kanya na ‘yun kung gusto pa niyang mag-meeting (It is up to the Vice President if she wants to hold a meeting with the President),” Panelo said.

“Palagay ko dapat si VP Leni ang mag-request. Cabinet na siya eh (Perhaps, VP Leni should request for a meeting since she’s already a member of the Cabinet),” he added. (PNA)

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