Senator Leila M. de Lima lauded Vice President Leni Robredo for her short stint as a co-chairperson of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) to show to the Filipinos and the Duterte administration the kind of leadership the nation deserves.
In her commentary, entitled “The Leni Robredo Chapter”, in Rappler last Dec. 7, De Lima said Robredo’s efforts to address illegal drugs in the country as a “drug czar” was a far cry from the failed approach of the administration in its anti-narcotics campaign.
“In the end, Robredo not only made Duterte, et al look like idiots – in such a short period of time and for such negligible exertion of potential, Robredo was able to remind Filipinos of what a true leader looked like and what real leadership meant,” she wrote.
“Her actions were in contrast to the smoke-and-mirrors pageantry that is the Duterte government and gave a glimpse of the genuine statesmanship and leadership that a nation truly deserves,” she added.
In a recent media interview, Robredo said she will make public her findings and observations on the government’s drug war on Dec. 16, saying the report would be “recommendatory,” without including sensitive information.
“We saw some gaps and our recommendations are intended to help in correcting these mistakes, in addressing the gaps,” Robredo said.
Note that Robredo accepted Mr. Duterte’s dare for her to sit as co-chair of the government’s task force against illegal drugs despite well-meaning warnings from her allies that it could be a trap that is doomed to fail last Nov. 6.
Yet, only 19 days as co-chair of the anti-drug body, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that Mr. Duterte decided to fire the Vice President from her post for allegedly using the post for “grandstanding.”
Duterte, for his part, has publicly admitted he did not want Robredo to hold a Cabinet post because he does not trust her and that he disliked how the Vice President consulted international organizations as co-chair of the ICAD.
“Malacañang wove a tapestry of incoherent reasons to explain the President’s action, but by now it was already clear to the whole nation (except of course to the regular die-hard zombie DDS fanatics) that the real reason was the fact that the whole Duterte administration was starting to be seriously threatened by Robredo’s rise to presidentiable stature in such a short period of time,” De Lima noted.
The lady Senator from Bicol said Robredo’s single platform as ICAD co-chair – a position the Senator deemed as not even having “real powers” – was worth thousands of Sen. Bong Go’s recycled Malasakit Centers in launching a presidential candidate.
“Go, Dela Rosa, and Panelo were already banging their heads against the wall for going along with such a stupid idea as challenging a woman a hundred times more capable than all of them put together,” said De Lima, recalling the three allies of Duterte who openly criticized Robredo.
“The Davao clique may get away with idiotic governance in the political culture of Mindanao. But they could not have possibly thought that they could assume national office without exposing their ignorance and poverty of mind,” she added.
Under his leadership, Mr. Duterte encouraged the police force to put the law in their hands and used them to unleash a nationwide bloodbath disguised as his war on drugs.