Guevarra: Robredo’s failure isn’t her failure alone but of entire government
MANILA, Philippines — Is Vice President Leni Robredo being set up to fail by President Rodrigo Duterte? For Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, such talks should be ignored.
“The task before the ICAD is a very serious matter. It is a national concern [and] we need all the help that we can get,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters Wednesday.
Robredo has accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to be the administration’s drug czar despite warnings from various sectors that it is a trap and that she is being set up to fail.
In an October 31-memorandum, Duterte informed Robredo that he has designated her as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) “to lead the government’s efforts against illegal drugs until 30 June 2022, unless sooner revoked.”
ICAD leads the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs. Prior to Robredo’s appointment, it is headed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Aaron Aquino, who earlier said he thinks the Vice President “will fail” as drug czar.
ICAD has 20 “very important agencies” as members: the Dangerous Drugs Board, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of National Defense, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Public Attorney’s Office, Office of the Solicitor General, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Anti-Money Laundering Council.
“How can she fail? She cannot fail on her own. She is a member of the committee, she is a co-chair. So, if all these illegal drug campaigns fail, then it is not her failure alone, it’s the failure of the entire government,” Guevarra explained.
“So, all of this talk about she being set to a trap, to manipulate so that she will fail, I don’t think this is all true because she is co-chair of an inter-agency committee composed of 20 very important agencies of the national government,” he added.
He also said they are very happy with Robredo’s decision because she can provide fresh insights into the government’s drive against anti-illegal drugs.
As a piece of advice, however, Guevarra said, “(S)he should participate actively in the activities of the ICAD and all of these clusters.”
“She should share all her ideas. She will not only be helping the government, (but) she will (also) be helping the people – the beneficiaries of the anti-illegal drug campaign,” Guevarra pointed out. /kga
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