Philippine Vice President Leonor Robredo at a press conference in Quezon City, Metro Manila today. Photo: Reuters.

Duterte's opponents want to change the fight against drugs

The Vice President of the Philippines called for a change in the war on drugs that she described as "meaningless defeat and murder" of Duterte.

"There are too many pointless murders involving Oplan Tokhang (the fight against drugs). It has reached a certain level of notoriety, that Tokhang is a fight against the poor. We need to change our thinking." think that, "Vice President Robredo, Duterte's political opponent, said in the first session as a co-leader in the fight against drugs today.

Robredo insists the campaign needs to be conducted legally and based on evidence. "Perhaps it is time for us to think about turning to some more effective option and no one will be killed unreasonably," the Philippine Vice President added.

Philippine President Duterte on October 31 sent a letter to his deputy Robredo, appointing her to be co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Drugs (IACD). Salvador Panelo, a spokesman for Duterte, announced yesterday that the move would "make detractors and critics see the sincerity of the President".

Robredo accepted Duterte's order on November 6, despite opposition from political allies who advised her not to take the position because it was a "trap". She could be turned into a "scapegoat" for errors in the President's anti-drug campaign.

Philippine Vice President Leonor Robredo at a press conference in Quezon City, Metro Manila today. Image: Reuters.

In a speech today, the Vice President of the Philippines also said that drug addiction is the country's real problem, reiterating the Duterte government's frustration when he said up to 8 million drug addicts.

Robredo said she sees Duterte's offer as a sign of his openness to new ideas. "I want to see it as a signal that the President is willing to listen to new perspectives on the whole campaign. I also want to treat it as an acknowledgment that it is time to objectively assess what we have. has been doing, "Robredo added.

The President and Vice President of the Philippines are elected separately, so it is inevitable that the two leaders disagree. Duterte repeatedly criticized his "incompetent" deputy, while Robredo also regularly condemned his "bloody" drug campaign.

President Duterte has launched a war on drugs since taking office in 2016, allowing police to shoot and kill suspects on the spot without trial. Many human rights groups believe the death toll in Duterte's campaign is over 27,000.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Reuters)

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