THE common parlance that “two heads are better than one” is not true at all times especially to two persons from different orientations.
I am referring this doubt to the shared position among the newly appointed ICAD co-chair VP Leni Robredo and her vis-à-vis PDEA chief Aaron Aquino.
During the first meeting of ICAD with the new kid in town, VP Robredo suggested to scrap “Oplan Tokhang” that has been associated with bad impression of senseless killing and labeled as anti-poor.
But the senior crawler Aquino instantly rejected the proposition saying “there is no need to scrap tokhang, only reassess it.” That was an alarming salvo!
The two chairmen could potentially become loggerheads unless there is an agreement among them to create an elbow space in between; they cannot work comfortably with each other.
Like crocodiles, human is territorial by nature. Aquino is gentleman enough to propose that Robredo as a human rights lawyer before joining politics can handle on the soft side cluster of the anti-drug campaign that would not require guns and bullets like rehabilitation, reintegration and advocacy.
This has also been Robredo’s battle cry, a “more humane” approach focused on socioeconomic and public health issues that is anchored on human dignity associating PDEA, PNP, DILG, DOH, DOJ and the other relevant agencies.
President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in many speeches that drug situation has worsened and the police are on the “brink of surrendering.”
“It is beyond my competence, but maybe she (Robredo) will do better” he said and appointed Robredo to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) –a committee that composed of 21 government offices.
Robredo is among the opposition who was once suspected conspirator against the Duterte’s administration. Duterte knew from the very beginning, before he appointed Robredo to work with Aquino about her position on the war against drugs. She is against killing of innocent people; that the focus is to suppress the supplies and not the market; and the war must be waged only against poverty, not against people.
But in spite of the prior knowledge, the president issued a memorandum on October 31 appointing Robredo to a cabinet position as co-chairman of the ICAD until June 30, 2022.
The bar is, the memorandum says, unless sooner revoked. In plain and simple language the president has not given his full trust to Robredo who in status is on-the-job trainee and that explains why she was appointed in the shadow of Aquino who had been known to the president for more than two decades.
Upon reception, Robredo is confident with the sword and shield of Senator Panfilo Lacson who advised her to organize her own men to carry out the war and at the same time watch her back as police has varied notions. Robredo can be counted among the collaterals as target of the drug lords.
Like the old saying that goes: “Trust no one, because even your own shadow will leave you when total darkness comes.”
Come what may, but putting Leni on the ICAD is Rody’s silent admission that she has something to contribute for the effectual war against drugs.