(Eagle News) — Vice President Leni Robredo said she would release whatever she had found out in the three weeks that she had been the country’s anti-illegal drug czar as she vowed to fight the drug war in her own way, questioning even President Rodrigo Duterte’s sincerity in fighting illegal drugs.
“Sa mga susunod na araw, magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at aking mga rekomendasyon,” Robredo said after PresidentDuterte fired her as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo questioned the reason from her removal from her post which she held for just 19 days, to the point of even questioning the Philippine government’s sincerity in the illegal drug war.
“Ngayon ang tanong ko: Ano bang kinatatakutan ninyo? Ano ba ang kinatatakutan ninyong malaman ko?Ano ba ang kinatatakutan ninyong malaman ng taumbayan?” she said in a press conference on Monday, Nov. 25, a day after President Duterte fired her from the ICAD post.
In her statement, Robredo reminded the Duterte administration that the real enemy are illegal drugs and the drug lords, and not her.
She also reminded the President that she did not ask for the post given to her.
“Mr. President, hindi ko hiningi ang posisyong ito. Pero sineryoso ko ang trabahong ipinasa ninyo. Ang hiling ng taumbayan: isang gobyernong tunay na kampeon laban sa iligal na droga. Alalahanin natin na ang droga at mga drug lord ang kalaban—hindi ako, at lalong hindi ang taumbayan,” she said.
She claimed that she would continue her fight against the drug war as her determination to prevent unnecessary killings would not be lessened.
“Makakaasa kayo: kahit tinanggalan ako ng posisyon, hinding-hindi nila kayang tanggalin ang aking determinasyon. Determinasyong itigil ang patayan, panagutin ang kailangang managot, at ipanalo ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” she said.
“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” Robredo added.
-Palace: Robredo not serious in fighting drug war-
Malacanang, in terminating the services of Robredo as ICAD co-chair, questioned her sincerity in the fight against illegal drugs.
President Duterte said Robredo was also “scatterbrained” and described her actions while she held the post as mere “grandstanding.”
“If VP Robredo is really serious in addressing the cause of the drug problem, she should have gone down to the grassroots — talking to the victims, to their families, and to the communities. Instead, she opted to have audience with the United Nations and the United States embassy officials who remain out-of-touch from the realities of the local drug problem on the ground,” a Palace statement read.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Robredo just wasted the opportunity given to her by President Duterte by attacking the methods used by the government in its drug war campaign.
“Such tack was even motivated by hubris to prove their past arguments against the anti-illegal drug operations were correct. It at once crumbled as her request for police data validated the falsity of their arguments that the extra-judicial killings are state-sponsored,” Panelo said.
He also questioned Robredo’s alleged penchant of always talking in front of media cameras, instead of consulting directly with the President regarding her functions as ICAD co-chair.
“The functions of the ICAD, as performed by its four clusters, are already spelled out in Executive Order No. 15. So is the role of its head of ensuring that the objectives of the ICAD are accomplished. If VP Robredo wanted clarification in the scope and limits of her new task, she could have sought audience with the President, which she failed to do. As always, she talked — not with her appointing authority — but right in front of the cameras asking the President on her supposed mandate.,”