Robredo to Duterte: What are you afraid of?

She’s just getting started. Vice President Leni Robredo warned that she will reveal to the public the discoveries she made in her 18-day stint as anti-drug czar.
| Photo from the Office of the Vice President

Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday, November 25, posed a question for President Rodrigo Duterte a day after he fired her as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

“What are you afraid of? What are you afraid that I might discover? What are you afraid that the people might find out?” she asked in Filipino during a press conference in Camarines Sur.

“Mr. President, I did not ask for this position. But I took the job you passed on to me seriously. What the people wished for is a government that truly champions the fight against illegal drugs,” she added.

Robredo promised the public that she would report the discoveries she made in her 18-day stint 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 also reminded Duterte that she is not the enemy, questioning why he can’t seem to work together with her and if she crossed some boundaries.

“If we have the same objective, why can’t we just help each other? Are they really serious in this fight? Or have we tramped on somebody’s interest?” she said.

Last month, Duterte said that he would temporarily designate Robredo as the Philippines’ anti-drug czar following her remark that his war against illegal drugs is “obviously, not working.” He followed it up with a promise of giving Robredo a Cabinet secretary rank to show the seriousness of his offer.

Robredo accepted his offer on November 6 but was removed from her post less than three weeks later 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. 

Ritchel Mendiola

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

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