Malacañang questioned Vice President Leni Robredo anew for “taking so long” in releasing her report on the government’s drug war after she postponed the release in unity with victims of the magnitude 6.9 quake that jolted Davao del Sur.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo would not have needed to push back the release of her findings if she had done it when she was still co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“What’s taking her so long? As the President said, ‘Bring it on, whatever you want to come out with,’” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.
“Kung mayroon siyang ilalabas na masama o iregularidad, dapat (If she really had irregularities to release, she should have done so) from the very time of the discovery. Apparently, wala naman eh (there’s nothing),” he added.
In a televised press conference, Robredo said her team from the Office of the Vice President will be going to quake-affected areas in Mindanao to provide assistance to victims.
On Sunday afternoon, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Davao del Sur almost two months after a series of quakes shook parts of Mindanao.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) traced its epicenter nine kilometers northwest of Matanao, Davao del Sur.
At least four persons were initially reported to have died while 14 people were injured.
Panelo assumed it must be difficult for Robredo to release discoveries and recommendations on how to improve the government’s efforts against illegal drugs if she really had nothing new to put on the table.
“Mahirap kasi pag wala ka naman talagang ilalabas at nag-iisip ka pa kung ano ang ilalabas mo, eh talagang matagal (It’s difficult if you really have nothing to release and you’re still thinking about what you’re going to release. It’s really going to take time),” Panelo said.
Duterte appointed Robredo as co-chair at ICAD on Oct. 31 to help Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino in efforts to curb the drug menace.
Robredo was fired 19 days later following her supposed failure to present new measures in curbing the drug proliferation in the country and meetings with foreign personalities and groups that have prejudged the drug war.
Aquino, meanwhile, said he was unfazed by Robredo’s impending release of the report, saying the administration is ready to hear her side, be it “good or bad for the administration”.
He noted that the ICAD is also open to considering the Vice President’s recommendations to improve the government’s handling of the country’s drug problem if they were deemed “beneficial”. (PNA)