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Robredo tells Duterte: P1B spent on drug rehab not a waste of money

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Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday (Jan. 10) reminded President Rodrigo Duterte of the government’s obligation to help in the rehabilitation of drug addicts after he expressed regret for spending P1 billion for them.

In a statement, Robredo stressed that drug addiction is a health issue, with medical experts labeling it as a mental illness.

“Investing on the health and well being of our people is never a waste of money,” she said.

“In keeping to our oath to serve the Filipino people, we must help drug addicts in managing and eventually stopping their drug use,” Robredo added.

In a speech in Malacañang Monday (Jan. 9), Duterte said the P1 billion he spent on drug addicts— which came from PAGCOR’s remittances— should’ve been used instead to feed the hungry.

While Robredo supports Duterte’s fight against drugs and drug-related criminality, she said she is hopeful the government will use “life-giving lens” in finding solutions.

“Community-based rehabilitation is an option that should be available to Filipinos who have fallen into addiction, but we must also focus on the causes of drug use and addiction such as poverty and lack of economic opportunity to truly end the drug problem,” she said.