Before Robredo’s acceptance, LP weighed pros and cons of Duterte’s offer – Pangilinan
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday said the Liberal Party discussed and weighed the pros and cons of President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to Vice President Leni Robredo to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) before she eventually accepted the post.
“Pinag-usapan sa partido ang offer. Tinimbang ang mga pros at cons. At kahit alam ni VP Leni na maaaring patibong ito, tinanggap niya ang hamon. Mas matimbang sa kanya ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan na target ng madugong drug war,” Pangilinan, who is the president of the LP, said in a statement.
(The offer was discussed by the party. We weighed the pros and cons. And even if VP Leni knows that this may be a trap, she accepted the challenge. Poor Filipinos who became the target of the bloody drug war weighed more to her).
While the motive and sincerity of Malacañang about its offer to Robredo are still unclear, Pangilinan said what could be assured is the vice president’s sincerity to find the right solution to the country’s drug war problem.
The senator, likewise, expressed support for Robredo’s decision to accept the said post.
“Maliwanag ang naging pahayag ng ating Bise Pangulo na sa pagtanggap niya sa nasabing hamon ay tututulan nya ang araw-araw na patayan, papanagutin niya ang mga ninja cops, at hahabulin niya ang mga sindikato ng droga at mga kasabwat nito na nasa likod ng pagpapalusot ng tone-toneladang shabu sa BoC. Dahil dito, buo ang ating pagsuporta sa kanya,”
(The Vice President was clear in saying that once she accepts the challenge she would oppose the daily killings, she would hold accountable the ninja cops and go after the drug syndicates and their cohorts who were behind the smuggling of tons of shabu seized by the Bureau of Customs. Because of this, we express our full support for her).
Pangilinan, meanwhile, called on the Filipino public to also support the Vice President’s decision.
“Mapanganib ang kanyang hinaharap na pagsubok at naniniwala tayo na kapag buo ang suporta at pagkilos ng mamamayan sa magiging hakbang niya ay mas matitiyak ang kanyang tagumpay,” he added.
(She is facing a dangerous challenge and we believe that if the public shows her their full support she will surely succeed).
On Tuesday, Duterte formally appointed Robredo as co-chairperson of the inter-agency anti-drug body after he promised to give her his power to enforce the law for six months.
Earlier, an LP official said Robredo would not accept the administration’s offer.
LP vice president for external affairs Erin Tañada said that Robredo may just be used to “cover up” Duterte’s failure to solve the drug problem.
“I believe her spokesperson has spoken. The appointment is vague because she is just a “figure head”. She will be used to cover-up the failure of the President,” Tañada said in a text message.
But in a press briefing, Robredo accepted Duterte’s appointment.
“…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 about the offer, Robredo said that she would 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.)
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