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Panelo says Robredo has zero ‘credibility, competence’ in drug war

/ 06:11 PM January 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has “zero credibility and competence” when it comes to the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs, President Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Monday.

That said, Panelo claimed Malacanang would keep its hands off the plans of Congress to invite Robredo as resource person in the drug war hearings.

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“The Palace leaves it to Congress to invite resource persons in its hearings. Congressional hearings are conducted in aid of legislation, a function belonging to the Legislative and not to the Executive Branch,” Panelo said in a statement.

Robredo earlier expressed willingness to attend the congressional hearings to discuss her findings and recommendations on the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs, which she has previously called a “massive failure.”

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However, Panelo claimed Robredo’s 19-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) “does not make her an expert to make an objective and credible analysis of this administration’s centerpiece program on anti-illegal narcotics.”

Panelo said that Robredo’s “illogical extrapolations” against the drug war are mere desperate attempt to be “politically relevant.”

“What should be juxtaposed are the present achievements of the President with those, if any, of previous administrations. The latter may not even reach a significant fraction of 1%, using her untenable formula to criticize the drug war,” he said.

“As the President said, VP Robredo is a colossal blunder. Listening to her perorations about a matter she knows nothing about will be another herculean blunder. It is a useless exercise and a waste of time,” he added.

Duterte appointed Robredo to the ICAD after the latter criticized his brutal war on drugs. He then fired Robredo 19 days later supposedly due to “incompetence.”

Shortly after her stint, Robredo came out with a report tagging the government’s drug war as a “failure” as it only hardly scratched the surface of the drug menace despite all the money and resources given to it by the government.

Citing government data, the Vice President said the shabu supply and drug money were only reduced by 1 percent in the last three years. She also recommended that the chairmanship of ICAD be transferred from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to the Dangerous Drugs Board as the latter, according to her, has the capacity to lead the campaign from all facets.

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But the President rejected her recommendation, calling her a colossal blunder.

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TAGS: Drug war, Human rights, Leni Robredo, Malacañang, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo
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