Robredo has not yet accepted drug czar post – spokesman
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has not yet accepted the formal invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte for her to head the administration’s drug war, according to her spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, a former Akbayan party-list representative, said on Tuesday night that Robredo would reveal her plans and suggestions for the drug war on Wednesday, supposedly in a letter that would be sent to the President.
The Office of the Vice President said that Robredo had not yet read through the documents because there were several meetings that she had to attend to. However, the office clarified that, as of now, Robredo would make suggestions in her capacity as Vice President.
“The Vice President will give a statement on what direction should the drug war take,” Gutierrez told reporters at a press conference at the Quezon City. “At this point, we have not talked about whether VP Leni would accept it or not. We must remember it was the President who made the offer in the first place.”
“On that note, were not yet responding on the letter, but tomorrow we would address — not just the issue on the appointment but also on the drug war,” he added.
Gutierrez also noted that the memorandum sent by Malacañang was offering Robredo a post that did not exist, according to Executive Order No. 15, which created the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo was appointed earlier by the President as co-chairperson of ICAD, along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.
The President’s invitation for Robredo to take control of the administration’s anti-illegal drug operations was borne out of her criticism of the campaign, particularly when she supposedly told journalists working for foreign news sites that the drug war had to be stopped.
However, Robredo clarified that she never asked for a halt to the drug war but on for a reassessment of the way it was being implemented.
Initially, Robredo did not want to respond to the President’s dare, as she was not sure whether the President was serious or not. She also fumed at Malacañang’s supposed invitation being sent through a text message, asking administration officials to respect her office.