VP Leni welcome to join police anti-drug ops: NCRPO 1
VP Leni welcome to join police anti-drug ops: NCRPO 2

WELCOME TO JOIN OPS. NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas says Vice President and ICAD co-chairperson Leni Robredo can join anti-illegal drug operations by police officers, in a press briefing at the Quezon City Police District on Friday (Nov. 8, 2019). In response to Robredo’s pronouncements of a zero-killing target for the anti-drug campaign, Sinas said police officers will defend themselves from armed suspects especially if warranted by the situation. (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Friday said Vice President Leni Robredo is welcome to join police operations as part of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, however, expressed security concerns over the matter.

“Why not? If she is available, it’s fine. But of course, she is the Vice President. Her security is important and the security personnel assigned to here might not allow it,” Sinas told reporters when asked for a comment during a press briefing held at Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Friday.

“We don’t sacrifice our leaders. If there is a request from her and she wants to join, it’s good because at least, she can see police operations in action. We can make arrangements for her,” he added.

Sinas also welcomed the appointment of Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), adding that he is happy to work with here for the success of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While stressing that the police do not want anybody killed in operations, Sinas said they are obliged to defend themselves if needed.

“We don’t want killings too. We also don’t want to engage in a gunfight. But if you’ll hear from the police, ‘If we are fired upon first, we will defend ourselves’,” Sinas said.

Sinas was reacting to Robredo’s remarks that she targets zero killings in anti-illegal drug campaign.

“We will abide whatever the instructions of the Vice President but di naman siguro sa manual namin na pinagbawal na (I’m sure our manual doesn’t prohibit us) to defend ourselves. We will follow also the procedure,” Sinas added.

Robredo has called for her first meeting with members of 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 body is co-chaired by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director-General Aaron Aquino.

The 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. (PNA)