Malacañang said Vice President Leni Robredo is bound to make even more mistakes after her pronouncement that she would not stop in her fight against the illegal drug trade despite being fired as the anti-drug czar.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this comment after Robredo said her job is far from over but has only just begun although she no longer co-chairs the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Yung sinasabi niyang hindi pa siya tapos, naniniwala ako. Hindi pa nga siya tapos sa kapalpakan kasi sunud-sunod na palpak ang ginagawa niya e (What she’s saying about not being finished, I believe it. She’s not done making mistakes),” Panelo said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas.
“Nagsimula palang siyang gumawa ng mga mali at marami pang mali ang gagawin niya bilang isang opisyal (She’s only starting to make mistakes and she has more mistakes to make as an official),” he added.
Nothing to hide
Meanwhile, Panelo shrugged off the question posed by Robredo asking the President what he was “afraid” of the public knowing about his drug war.
“Kung meron kang itinatago bakit mo papapasukin yung kalaban. Eh kalaban siya kasama siya sa oposisyon eh. Di ba? Yun ang common sense na tinatawag (If the President was hiding anything, why would he let his enemy in. She is considered an enemy because she’s with the opposition, right? That’s common sense),” Panelo said.
Panelo reiterated that Robredo is free to release her findings on the anti-narcotics campaign.
He, however, pointed out that Robredo should have “immediately” released her findings on the drug war while she was anti-drug czar and not after she was dismissed.
“Ibig niya bang sabihin noong nandun siya sa loob ng adminsitrasyon kung anuman ang natuklasan niya hindi niya isisiwalat dahil nasa loob siya ng administrasyon? At dahil ngayon lumabas na siya saka niya lang ilalabas (Does this mean that while she was anti-drug czar, she would not reveal whatever she found out because she works for the administration? And because she no longer does, it’s only now that she will release them)?” he added.
Don’t take credit
The Palace official insisted that Robredo should not take credit for her supposed findings because anti-drug related agencies have been “open” in providing her with the information she needed.
“Sabi mo natuklasan mo, hindi mo natuklasan. Ibinigay sayo lahat iyan. Mali ang sinasabi mo, open eh. Natuklasan mo yung kulang yung budget kaya humihingi ka (You said you discovered them, you didn’t. It was given to you. You’re wrong because it’s open. You found out there was a need for a bigger budget that’s why you asked for an increase),” Panelo said.
Duterte appointed Robredo as anti-drug czar on October 31 to help co-chair Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino in overseeing the implementation of all policies, laws, and issuances on the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.
Under the memorandum order, Duterte directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police, the Dangerous Drugs Board, and all other law enforcement agencies to extend their “full assistance and cooperation” to Robredo to ensure the success of his administration’s fight against illegal drugs.
Over two weeks in her job, Panelo said Robredo failed to present any of her plans and instead met with officials from the United States and United Nations to discuss the drug war.
The President was also irked when she started seeking classified information on the anti-narcotics campaign particularly the list of high-value targets, he added.
Panelo also said it was “rude” of Robredo to “dare” and “taunt” the President to remove her from her post if he did not trust her completely.
He said Robredo wasted the “opportunity” to work with the Duterte administration in improving the crackdown on illegal drugs. (PNA)