Government and church leaders applaud Vice President Leni Robredo’s acceptance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Sen. Panfilo Lacson says he is impressed by Robredo’s courage to take on the job.

Lacson said combatting illegal drugs in the country must not be treated as a political issue adding that he is willing to help the Vice President.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, author of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, is also willing to help Robredo.

“I am willing to give her a perspective on how the Inter-Agency works and where to concentrate so that she would not be confined to enforcement or prosecution,” Sotto III said.

Even President Duterte’s ally, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go assured his support for Robredo but with a warning.

Ngayon ako naman ang magbibilang kung ilang inosenteng Pilipino ang magiging biktima ng drogang yan,” Go said.

Go also responded to Robredo’s question if the President’s camp is ready for her.

“Ma’am Leni, handa na kami. We want you to succeed. Kung kailangang patayin natin ang mga drug lord, tutulungan ka namin. Basta i-save natin ang mga inosente,” Go said.

Robredo’s ally, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon assured the public that the Vice President will stand her ground on how the drug war should be fought.

“She will not endorse any policy which would involve extra-judicial killings. I don’t see that possibility,” Drilon said.

Drilon added that for Robredo to succeed, Malacañang should give her the authority to address the drug problem in the country and provide funding for her office’s operations.

Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa, who led the bloody anti-drug campaign as Philippine Police Chief during the early years of the Duterte administration, vows to support Robredo.

But he insisted that the drug war will inevitably have casualties.

“You have to fight. Hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute-cute dito. Hindi ito beauty contest. Giyera ito. war on drugs,” Dela Rosa said.

Detained senator Leila De Lima believed Robredo’s “compassion” will bring direction on how the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs should be conducted.

Meanwhile, Marikina Rep. Estella Quimbo hoped Robredo can be given the authority to choose who she will be working with as ICAD co-chair.

Sana meron din siyang leeway na piliin ang mga kasama niya sa kaniyang team pwede niyang dalhin ang kaniyang mga tauhan.” Quimbo said.

Robredo’s partymate, Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice had some reservations over her acceptance of the anti-drug post.

He said that he is afraid for the Vice President adding that policy formulation is a core expertise of the Vice President.  He thinks that the Duterte administration should allow Robredo to look into the country’s national drug policy.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he is pleased with Robredo’s entry to the ICAD.

“The DOJ is an active member of the ICAD and heads the Justice Cluster. So, we are very happy and pleased to welcome the Vice President as member,” Guevarra said.

The Catholic Church for its part urged those in government and the public in general to throw their support behind Robredo. (Jasper Camilo)