Robredo urges public to express outrage vs deadly drug raids

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo urged the public to express their outrage over the mass killings of drug suspects in Bulacan and Manila in the past two days.

"Ito, isang bagay na kailangan tayong mag-express ng outrage. Hindi naman tayo ganyan eh. Hindi naman tayo ito," Robredo told reporters in Naga City on Thursday, August 17.

(This is one thing which we should be outraged about. We're not like this. This is not who we are.)

"Iyong culture of impunity, matagal na nating isinikwal dito sa ating bansa. Sana, sana hindi na natin papayagang makabalik pa," she added.

(We've long removed the culture of impunity in our country. Let's not allow it to return.)

On Tuesday, August 15, police in Bulacan conducted a "one-time, big-time" drug operation, leading to the deaths of 32 suspects.

The next day, Manila police conducted their own anti-drug operation, which left 25 suspects dead.

Robredo, a human rights lawyer, has been a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war against drugs. The Vice President resigned as housing czar last December after the President barred her from attending Cabinet meetings.

Robredo believes criminals should be afforded due process.

"Kung mayroong kasalanan, papanagutin, pero kailangan iyong due process, isinasaalang-alang," said the Vice President.

(If a person committed a crime, let him or her answer for it, but we must abide by due process.)

"Kapag mayroong ganitong patayan, gustong sabihin may mga taong nilalagay sa sarili nilang kamay iyong batas. Hindi na hinahayaang gumiling pa iyong mga proseso na nasa Konstitusyon natin para siguruhin na iyong hustisya nabibigay para sa lahat," she added.

(Killings like these mean there are people who are putting the law into their own hands. They are not allowing processes enshrined in the Constitution to ensure justice for all.)

This belief, however, is not shared by Duterte. He praised the deadly Bulacan raids and even warned he would order the killing of human rights advocates. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.