BREAKING: Robredo accepts drug czar post offer
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has finally accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s invite for her to be the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo said this Wednesday, a day after Malacañang sent out a memorandum appointing her a post that she would share with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.
According to Robredo, one of the things she considered in accepting the post was the lives that she could possibly save if she had a hand in the drug war. This, despite suggestions by her allies that it could be a trap set for her to fail.
“Pero sa dulo, ang pinakamahalagang konsiderasyon para sa akin ay simple lang, kung ito ang pagkakataon para matigil ang patayan ng mga inosente at mapanagot ang mga kailangnang managot, papasanin ko ito,” Robredo explained.
(In the end, the most important consideration for me was simple: if this was the chance to stop the killings of the innocent people and put accountability on those responsible behind drug crimes, then I will bear it.)
“Kaya tinatanggap ko ang trabaho na binibigay sa akin ng Pangulo (That’s why I accepted the job given by the President),” she added.
Initially, Robredo’s camp was mum on whether or not she would accept or decline the appointment, with spokesperson Barry Gutierrez saying that the ‘problematic’ memorandum offered a non-existent post, according to Executive Order No. 15.
However, despite questions lingering with the offer, Robredo said that she will just focus on what she can contribute to the anti-drug campaign.
“At kahit sabihin na nating ang alok na ito ay pamumulitika lang, at hindi naman talaga ako susundin ng mga ahensya, at gagawin nila ang lahat para hindi ako magtagumpay, handa akong tiisin ang lahat ng ito,” Robredo noted.
(And even though let’s say this offer is just politics and that the agency really won’t follow my orders or they will do anything for me not to succeed, I’m ready to endure everything.)
“Mula simula, ang gusto ko ay ang maging maayos ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Itigil ang pagpatay sa mga inosente. Panagutin ang mga abusadong opisyal tulad ng mga ninja cops at mga nagpapalusot ng toneladang shabu,” she said.
(From the start, I want the campaign against illegal drugs to be in order. Stop the killings of the innocent ones. Make abusive officials accountable, like the ninja cops and those who let tons of shabu slip into the country.)
Duterte’s invite for Robredo to handle the government’s anti-drug operations was borne out of his frustration with the Vice President’s remarks in an interview with foreign media, where she supposedly said that the drug war has to be stopped.
Robredo later clarified that she never intended to ask for the drug war’s stoppage, as she only sought for a reassessment of the program.
It took some time for Robredo to respond to Duterte’s dare, as she doubted the seriousness of the offer. She also fumed at Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s supposed invite sent through text messages, asking the administration to respect her office. /je
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