No one else in the government except the President can successfully lead the anti-drug campaign unless he delegates a blanket authority, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday.
Lacson made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte said he is willing to give Vice President Leni Robredo six months to take over his administration’s aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs.
“Only the President can wield sufficient authority and power over our law enforcement officials. Unless he delegates a blanket authority, including the power to hire and fire, no one else in the government bureaucracy can do it better than the Chief Executive under any other given circumstances,” Lacson said.
“Having said that, the President is easily peeved when his administration’s top priorities – such as eliminating illegal drugs and corruption, which he used as his campaign platform – become the subject of criticisms,” he added.
Duterte said he could commission Robredo as drug czar and let her take over “all anti-drug activities” of government.
Duterte said he decided to let Robredo take over following her recent statement in a Reuters interview about the “failed drug war” which “targeted the poor rather than big drug networks”.
“Ngayon mas marunong ka man sa akin (Now, if you know how to do it better than me) I’ll hand it to you full powers sa (on) drugs. I’ll give you six months. Tingnan natin kung kaya mo (Let’s see if you can do it),” Duterte said.
The President said he wanted to give Robredo a “clean slate” so that she could prove that she could do a better job in cracking down on the illegal drug trade.
Earlier, Robredo clarified that she did not want the drug war to stop but merely wanted it “reassessed” given the rising number of drug-related deaths in the country. (PNA)