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Robredo tells Duterte: Learn from ex-Colombian president’s experience

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Vice President Leni Robredo has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to heed the advice of Colombia’s former president, Cesar Gavirian, that a violent approach to solving the drug problem won’t do any good.

In a press conference Thursday (Feb. 9), Robredo said the experience of Colombia and Thailand have shown that using an iron fist to curb the demand and supply for illegal drugs will not succeed.

“Tingin ko, mahalaga ang statement ng former President of Colombia dahil dumaan siya sa ganoon na track. Mahalaga iyong kwento niya hindi para sundin natin, pero para pulutin natin ng aral,” she said.

In an opinion piece published on the New York Times earlier in the day, Gaviria, Colombia’s president from 1990 to 1994, told Duterte to abandon the use of force in combatting the drug problem he will only fail.

Citing his experience, Gaviria said the killing of drug suspects in Colombia did little to curb the supply and demand for narcotics.

Robredo said Gaviria’s suggested alternatives to curb the use of illegal drugs, such as decriminalizing certain kinds of narcotics, are worth looking into.

“Iyong kanyang suggestion is to look at it as a public health and security issue. Tingin ko it is worth looking into,” she said.