Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte should listen to the advice of former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria.
“Sana yung pamahalaan pakinggan yung kwento at karanasan nung mga dumaan na diyan para sana hindi natin nauulit yung lahat ng mali na nangyari in the past,” Robredo said in a press conference in her Quezon City office.
(I hope the government would listen to the stories and experiences of those who went through that (war on drugs) so that hopefully, we won’t repeat the mistakes of the past.)
Gaviria, who led Colombia's bloody crackdown on illegal drugs and battled drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, advised Duterte in a New York Times opinion piece to look at the drug problem as a public health concern instead of taking a hard line against drug suspects.
Robredo said Gaviria’s words were important considering that no country has succeeded in combating the drug problem using violence. “Mahalaga yung statement ng former president of Colombia dahil dumaan siya sa ganung track. Mahalaga yung kwento niya hindi para gayahin natin kundi para pulutan ng aral,” Robredo said.
(The statement of the former president of Colombia is important because he went through that track.
His story is important not because we should copy it but so that we could learn lessons from it.) “Tingin ko hindi makakasama sa atin yung makinig,” she added. (I think it won’t be bad for us to listen.)
Duterte however on Wednesday hit Gaviria for criticizing his war on drugs, calling the latter an "idiot." More than 7,000 people have been killed since Duterte launched his bloody campaign against illegal drugs 7 months ago.