Robredo says 2022 polls never a factor in decision to accept drug czar post
TANAY, Rizal — Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said the 2022 election was never a factor in her decision to accept the additional task of being co-chair of the Inter-Agency Commission on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
In an interview on the sidelines of her visit here, Robredo noted that the position given to her was “too much of a risk” from a political perspective.
She then emphasized that government officials should not think about the next presidential elections while serving the people because such a mindset only leaves the public shortchanged.
“Siguro kung inisip ko ‘yung 2022, hindi ko ‘to tatanggapin kasi too much of a risk. Pero ‘yong sa akin kasi, nadedehado masyado ‘yong ating mga kababayan ‘pag kaming naka-upo tinitignan na ‘yong 2022,” she told reporters in an ambush interview.
(Maybe if I was thinking about 2022, I would not have accepted the post because it is too much of a risk. For me, people are being shortchanged if elected government officials like us are already looking forward to 2022.)
Robredo visited residents of Sitio Macantog, an electricity-less village on top of a mountain, to distribute solar panel kits under the Office of the Vice President’s Angat Buhay program in partnership with an electric company. Reaching this community entailed a one-hour hike through muddy and stony terrain.
“Meron pa kaming mga dalawa at kalahating taon. ‘Pag inisip ko ‘yong 2022, aakyat ba ako sa bundok na kakaunti ‘yong tao? Bakit ko sasayangin ‘yong oras ko dito na sobrang hirap umakyat para lang makausap ‘yong kaunting tao, na karamihan nga siguro sa kanila hindi ako kilala?” she asked.
(We still have around two-and-a-half years. If I’m thinking about 2022, would I still climb up this mountain where there’s a small number of people? Why would I waste my time here where it’s difficult to reach just to talk to a small number of people when maybe many of them don’t even know me?)
“‘Pag inisip ko ‘yong 2022, biglang magbabago ‘yong buong galaw ko – ‘yong programa namin, hindi lang ‘yong sa anti-drugs pero lalo na ‘yong ginagawa namin sa opisina,” she added.
(When I think about 2022, my entire movement will suddenly change – our programs, not only for anti-drugs but especially the things we’re doing in the office.)
Before Robredo even accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to co-lead the ICAD post, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Vice President’s appointment is a ladder to the presidency – referring to the 2022 elections.
Robredo has been rumored to be the opposition’s bet for 2022, possibly setting up a face-off between her and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. In the May 2019 midterm polls, Robredo and Duterte-Carpio led the sorties of their respective senatorial line-ups, fueling the talks on a potential rivalry.
But both dismissed such rumors with Robredo saying she is focused on the Office of the Vice President’s anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay. /kga
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.