MANILA — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said it might be pointless for the Philippines to ask for assistance from the United Nations and the United States in the fight against illegal drugs since they don’t know the drug problem in the country.
“Kasi, ano ang matututunan natin doon? Hindi nila alam ang problema sa Pilipinas (What could we learn from them? They don’t know the problems in the Philippines),” Sotto told reporters when asked about Vice President Leni Robredo’s plan to meet with US embassy and UN officials to discuss the government’s war on drugs.
Sotto said the US has its own Drug Control Policy Program where some strategies are patterned on the UN strategy.
“But as of now, the strategies of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime are not yet quite clear,” he said.
He said it would be better for agencies and groups not involved with the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) not to meddle with the agency’s work.
“Hindi naman nila alam yung mga function ng ICAD. Ano yung pakialam ng UN doon (They don’t know anything about the functions of ICAD. What has the UN got to do with it)?” Sotto said.
“Perhaps what the Vice President means is research. But as far as running the anti-illegal drugs and drug abuse program of the country, I don’t think we will learn from those groups,” he added.
The Senate leader, however, clarified that he is only expressing his personal opinion and has nothing against Robredo’s plan.
“That’s her opinion… Okay lang, kanya-kanyang thinking yan. Kung sa tingin nila, makakatulong, (It’s okay. We have our own thinking. If they think it will help) then go ahead. My personal opinion, wala tayong mapapala doon (we won’t get anything from it),” Sotto said. Jose Cielito Reganit / PNA – northboundasia.com