Robredo dared to reveal drug war discoveries

Vice President Leni Robredo | photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, November 28, dared Vice President Leni Robredo to release the discoveries she supposedly made during her quick stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

“You seem to be threatening na may information ka (that you have information). Ilabas mo (Release it),” Duterte ordered. 

Robredo promised the public that she would report her discoveries about the drug war a day after she was fired from her 19-day post as ICAD co-chair. 

“In the coming days, I will report to the public. I will reveal what I discovered and my recommendations. I can assure you: even if I was stripped of the position, my determination will never waver,” she said.

Robredo was sacked for her supposed “missteps,” such as speaking to foreign nations, failing to present a program of action in her new role as ICAD co-chair, and challenging Duterte to fire her.

According to Duterte, she “made an asshole of herself” after she met with representatives of foreign organizations, including the United Nations and the U.S. Embassy.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, expressed his doubts about Robredo’s discoveries, pointing out that she should have immediately released the information.

“What’s taking her [Robredo] so long? Is she trying to convey the message that she has kept her silence in recent past because she’s still part of the administration? Now that she’s no longer part of the same administration, she is inclined to disclose her revelations? That does not speak well with the vice president,” he said, adding that “presumably” whatever comes out of Robredo’s report is fabricated.

He continued, “If you discovered something, you should bring it out outright. But if you’re still crafting your alleged discovery, it will really take time to craft.”

Panelo also slammed Robredo for questioning what the administration is hiding from the public.

“My question to VP Leni is if the administration is trying to hide something, you wouldn’t be appointed,” he said.

Following the vice president’s firing, Philippine National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said she did not commit any “missteps” during her quick term as ICAD co-chair. 

Panelo quickly rebutted Banac’s statements, by saying the missteps he was talking about “were on a higher level.” 

“Like when she talked with foreign nationals or institutions, for the president, that’s a misstep, why did you talk to them since they have judged that the drug war is wrong… In short, the PNP is being pitted against the administration,” he added. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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