Duterte rejects Robredo's proposal to decriminalize drug use

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte downplayed Friday the proposal of Vice President Leni Robredo to study decriminalizing the use of illegal drugs as an alternative to his deadly crackdown versus narcotics trade.

In a chance interview with reporters in Malacañang, Duterte slammed Robredo for coming up with such proposal, which he likened to European Union's (EU) plan to push for a "health-based" approach.

"[Robredo’s idea is] same with EU. I don't like EU," Duterte said.

"Their [EU lawmakers] suggestion is for me to build a clinic here in Manila. Then I will be the one to supply shabu, cocaine. And here's Robredo, [coming up with same proposal]," he added.

A newspaper report said Robredo supposedly suggested to government to look into decriminalizing drug use during his recent visit to the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna.

Robredo, however, clarified that she merely proposed that the country take a look at the experience of other countries that launched violence in stamping out illegal drugs.

The Vice President said she only used Portuguese government's policy of decriminalizing drug use as a precedent on how to address drug problem.

Robredo stressed that she did not propose that the current administration adopt such policy.

Earlier, the Vice President called on the United Nations to look into Duterte's drug war that killed thousands of individuals.

Duterte has maintained his stance to wage a brutal war on illegal drugs, which resulted in the killings of more than 7,000 suspected drug personalities. (SunStar Philippines)

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