Robredo refuses to answer Duterte’s dare: I don’t know if he is serious
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has opted to not answer the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte, who recently said he would “surrender” his law enforcement powers to her for six months.
In an ambush interview in Iloilo on Tuesday, the Vice President instead stressed that important issues affecting the country should rather be confronted with solutions and not be countered with animosity and slurs.
“Ako kasi, ayaw kong sagutin muna iyon kasi hindi ko alam kung gaano kaseryoso. Pero iyong sa akin lang, iyong mga mahahalaga at mga importanteng mga problema ng ating bansa, hindi naman dinadaan sa pagkapikon, hindi naman dinadaan sa pang-iinsulto,” she told reporters in Iloilo.
(I do not want to answer that for now because I do not know how serious that was. But for me, the significant and important problems of our country should not be addressed through antagonism or throwing insults.)
“Mahirap na papatulan ko, kasi hahaba lang iyong usapan. Iyong sa akin, parating solusyon iyong hinahanap natin,” she added.
(It’s hard if I react to his statements, it would only lengthen the discussion. For me, we always just seek for solution.)
Duterte on Monday said he would surrender his “powers to enforce the law” to Robredo, and specifically let her take over his administration’s war on drugs, after the Vice President criticized his bloody anti-drug campaign.
“The opposition, they always hanker on to riding on issues. Like Robredo, she is very persistent about human rights. As a matter of fact, I am sending a letter to her through Secretary Mediadea,” Duterte said during the appointment of new government officials in Malacañang. “I will surrender my powers to enforce the law, I’ll hand it over to the Vice President. I’ll give it to her for six months. Let her take over. And let’s see. I won’t interfere. You want that? Are you smart enough? Okay. You try it. I’ve been a mayor for so long and nobody can fool me that easily.”
READ: Duterte to ‘surrender’ power to Robredo to enforce law for six months
READ: Duterte dares Robredo: Lead drug war
Robredo recently drew flak from Duterte’s supporters after supposedly telling members of a foreign media outfit that the drug war has to be stopped because “obviously, it’s not working,” pointing out that death toll from Duterte’s grisly anti-criminality program continues to rise but illegal drugs remain prevalent in the country.
But she clarified that what she was asking was a reassessment of the drug war.
According to the Philippine National Police, 5,526 suspects have been killed in legitimate police operations, although critics claim the number could be even higher, as of July this year.
“If you check the interview, what I said was that the government should assess if proper strategies are being implemented [in the drug war campaign] because if not, then it needs to be tweaked,” Robredo said in a radio program last Sunday. /kga
Robredo: I said reassess – not stop – drug war
What ‘failed drug war?’ Palace says Robredo parroting ‘lies, black propaganda’
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.