‘Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,’ says Robredo after getting Duterte’s ax
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte may have shut her out of the government’s anti-drug body when he fired her just 18 days after she accepted his appointment, but for Vice President Leni Robredo this is just a beginning.
In a press conference in Naga, Camarines Sur, hours after Malacañang officials have announced and confirmed her removal as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Robredo assured detractors that her dismissal from the anti-drug panel won’t dampen her determination to stop the killings in the name of the drug war.
“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” she said Monday.
(If they think this would stop here, they don’t know me. I’m just starting.)
“Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang tinanggap ko ang hamon na pamunuan ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Mahigit dalawang linggo pa lang mula nang aking isinantabi ang napakaraming babala para pasanin ko ang trabahong kahit halos imposible ay kailangan kong subukan para sa ating mga kababayan,” she continued. “Hindi ako nagsayang ng oras: Nakipagpulong agad ako sa ICAD at iba’t-ibang mga ahensiya. Kinonsulta natin ang iba’t-ibang mga sektor. Pumunta tayo sa mga komunidad. Nakipagpulong tayo sa mga LGUs (local government units). Binisita natin ang mga rehab centers.”
(Just over two weeks since I accepted the challenge to lead the campaign against illegal drugs. Just over two weeks since I set aside the many warnings for me to take on the job, even if it’s almost impossible, I took it to try for our fellowmen. I did not waste time: I immediately met ICAD and other concerned agencies. I consulted with different sectors. We went to communities. Met with LGUs. Visited rehab centers.)
“Pero nagsimula agad ang mga atake. Walang tigil ang pagbabatikos. Mahina raw ako sa krimen. Huwag daw akong makialam sa pulis. Hindi raw ako mapagkakatiwalaan. Pinagtulung-tulungan at pinagkaisahan ako para hindi magtagumpay,” she added.
(But the attacks started immediately. Persistent criticisms. They say I’m weak about crimes. They said I should not meddle with the police. They say I cannot be trusted. I was ganged up on so I won’t succeed.)
Duterte appointed Robredo as an ICAD co-chair on October 31. Robredo accepted it on November 6. Days later, Duterte said he distrusts Robredo especially after she supposedly committed “missteps” by talking to “enemies of the state” regarding his drug war.
On Sunday or 18 days into her job as an ICAD co-chair, Malacañang officials said Duterte has fired Robredo from the anti-drug body.
“Hinding-hindi nila kayang tanggalin ang aking determinasyon. Determinasyong itigil ang patayan, panagutin ang kailangang managot, at ipanalo ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” Robredo vowed Monday.
Edited by KGA
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