Vice President Leni Robredo, who was recently fired as drug czar, is free to release the findings on the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign, Malacañang said yesterday.
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison, on the other hand, said President Rodrigo Du terte was clearly never sincere in appointing VP Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Now, Duterte looks like a fool, pasinto-sinto, by firing her after only two weeks,” he said.
Since the beginning, he has been afraid that she would discover from local officials and US intelligence how he actually protects the biggest drug lords under his mafia syndicate or crime family, Sison said.
The people expect Robredo to expose the criminal operations of the Duterte drug empire and denounce how she has received no cooperation from Duterte and ICAD but attacks, disinformation and sabotage of her work as ICAD co-chair, he added.
“It is her duty to condemn the bogus character of Duterte's so-called war on drugs. There is ample proof that Duterte and his close relatives and agents are responsible for the smuggling of illegal drugs,” Sison said.
More than ever it has become clear to the people that the problem of illegal drugs has worsened under the Duterte regime because it protects the drug lords as the suppliers and engages in mass murder at the expense of the poor people who are suspected of being drug users and pushers, he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo was appointed not only to help in the illegal drugs crackdown, but to see for herself that the administration has been “transparent.”
“She can do as she pleases. Anything that she claims she has discovered was accessed to her,” Panelo said in a statement.
“She was precisely appointed, apart from giving her the opportunity to assist in the campaign against illegal drugs, to let her know that everything in the drug war was and is transparent,” he added.
In a speech in Camarines Sur, Robredo said she will issue a report to the nation on what she learned during her two-week stint as co-chair of the ICAD.
Panelo, meanwhile, insisted that Robredo was fired for her “incompetence” apart from her failure to introduce new programs that would help fight the drug menace.
“She was weighed, but she was lacking,” Panelo said.
Robredo was appointed by Duterte as ICAD co-chair on October 31 after calling the drug war a failure.
Since then, Robredo has decided to focus on the rehabilitation of drug users, met with officials from the United States and United Nations to discuss efforts to eliminate the illegal drug trade.
She also asked authorities for classified information on the anti-narcotics campaign particularly the list of high-value targets. However, this did not sit well with the President.
Panelo said Robredo wasted the “opportunity” to work with the Duterte administration in improving the crackdown on illegal drugs.
Despite being drug czar for over two weeks, Panelo said Robredo has yet to present any new program or project to improve the anti-illegal drug campaign.
He said if Robredo wanted to clarify her official functions as ICAD co-chair, she should have reached out to the President to seek clarification instead of “grandstanding.”
Moreover, he said Robredo herself “taunted” and “dared” the President to remove her from her post if he failed to trust her completely.
“The Vice President had it coming. She has been making missteps. Apart from that, the president of the Liberal Party was daring the President to fire her, and VP Leni herself was taunting and daring the President to fire her; and she had this coming,” Panelo said in an interview ANC.
“It’s not surprising. She was given the opportunity to assist in the program but she blew it,” he added.*CPG/PNA
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