Robredo’s camp calls ICAD co-chair appointment ‘meaningless’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019   •   537

Atty. Barry Gutierrez

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo confirmed on Tuesday (November 5) that it has received the memorandum regarding Robredo’s designation as co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Robredo’s spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said the Vice President is yet to respond to the letter on whether or not she will accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer.

Speaking for the Vice President, Gutierrez analyzed the offer as meaningless and that Malacañang is not serious regarding the issue.

“Klaro from sa natanggap namin na memorandum na medyo walang kalaman-laman itong inaalok na posisyong ito, (It’s clear from the memorandum we have received that the position is senseless),” he said.

Robredo’s spokesman noted that under Executive Order 15 which established the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), a position of a co-chairperson does not exist.

Also, Gutierrez said it was surprising that instead of designating as the drug czar or the head of the ICAD, Robredo was appointed as co-chair with the chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which is an undersecretary level.

“Paano namin ite-take seriously ang ganitong klaseng offer kung iyong mismong magiging co-chair niya sa isang komite ay nagpahayag na kaagad na hindi siya naniniwala sa magiging co-chair niya?” Gutierrez referring to PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino disparaging Robredo’s capability in relation to the anti-drug campaign.

(How could we take this offer seriously when the person himself with whom [Robredo] would be working as co-chair of the committee already concluded that the Vice President is incapable for the job?)

Robredo’s spokesperson also argued that EO 15 is mere implementation of the policy and no control nor supervision over the 41 agencies included in the ICAD.

Nevertheless, Gutierrez said the vice president is taking the country’s illegal drugs problem seriously and that the system needs some overhaul.

“Seryoso siya na kailangan itong ayusin, (She is serious in saying that the campaign needs to be fixed, ” he said

“Seryoso siya na ang dapat habulin ay ang malalaking sindikato ng droga at hindi ang mga maliliit na mamamayan na nagiging biktima nitong kampanyang ito,”

(She seriously believes that the government should run after the large drug syndicates and not after the ordinary people who are also victims of this anti-drug campaign.)

Gutierrez confirmed that Robredo will deliver her statement on the issue including her recommendations or proposal on how to eradicate drugs menace in the country and the direction that the government should take in relation to the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Full Cabinet meeting set on October 12 sans VP Robredo

Marje Pelayo   •   October 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet will have an all-member meeting on Monday (October 12) at Malacañan Palace.

But Vice President Leni Robredo is not invited to the meeting and Malacañang has an explanation for that.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the President wants a serious discussion with his Cabinet about the government’s plan for the full reopening of the country’s economy and matters on how to resolve the shortage of public transportation as the situation returns to normalcy despite the looming threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Nagkaroon po kasi ng briefing si Secretary Dominguez at saka si Secretary Chua tungkol sa epekto ng pandemya sa ekonomiya at ipinakita nila na dahil sa pandemya ay humina ang ekonomiya na nagresulta sa mas maraming nagugutom, mas maraming bata ang malnourished, [Sec. Dominguez and Sec. Chua gave a briefing on the economic impact of the pandemic where they confirmed the weakening of the economy that resulted in more people suffering from hunger and more children becoming malnourished],” Roque explained.

So ang kanilang solusyon ay buksan pa ang ating ekonomiya dahil kaya naman nating mabuhay na naririyan sa kabila ng COVID-19, [So their solution is to further open the economy seeing that we can survive even in the presence of COVID-19],” he added. 

Roque clarified that the reason why Rodrebo isn’t invited is because she is not an official member of the Cabinet.

Although she has given her suggestions on how the government should respond to the current COVID-19 situation, Roque said, there is nothing new in her recommendations that the government could adopt.

“Saka sinasabi ko naman po na lahat ng suhestiyon niya pinakikinggn natin kaya lang wala pong bago. Kung meron siyang bagong suhestyon I am sure ikokonsidera po yan, [As I have said all her suggestions are being heard however, nothing is new. If she has suggestions that are new then, I’m sure, that will be considered],” Roque concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

VP Robredo commemorates 3rd Marawi Siege anniversary

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Community leaders survey damaged houses and buildings inside war-torn Marawi, Philippines January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Allard

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday issued a statement commemorating the harrowing events of the Marawi Siege.

“Today, we mark the third anniversary of the Marawi Siege. To this day, the city lies in ruins, and its people’s lives are frozen in time. Many of its residents remain in temporary shelter communities,” Robredo said.

The vice president recalled how the city of Marawi has been suffering “even as we all face the challenges brought about by COVID-19.”

She recounts how events bring people to connect as one.

“The ongoing crisis should have by now made us realize: The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all. Magkakarugtong ang diwa at pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ang hamon sa isa ay hamon sa lahat; ang pagpapabaya sa isa ay pagpapabaya sa lahat; ang ginhawa at pag-angat ng mga nasa laylayan ay pag-angat ng lahat. Healing requires the entire nation to bring its resources to bear,” Robredo articulated.

“Let us also remember that temporary shelter communities pose an even more profound challenge given the virality of COVID-19. Any outbreak in these tightly-packed communities will increase the risk for all of us, and affect a public health system that is already under tremendous strain,” she added.

The vice president also touched on the forthcoming celebration of the Muslim holiday, Eid’l Fitr.

“A few days from now, we will celebrate Eid’l Fitr, a Muslim holiday whose message of compassion and inclusiveness should resonate with every Filipino regardless of creed. Three years of inaction and neglect in Marawi is a thousand days too long,” she said.

She also appealed on concerned authorities to fast track their actions to extend help to the people of Marawi.

“We call on all concerned agencies to accelerate their actions while exercising full transparency. Marawi is not merely a tragedy to be remembered; it is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved,” the vice president concluded. — /mbmf

Malacañang on Robredo: ‘She only wants the spotlight’

Marje Pelayo   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo straightforwardly accused Vice President Leni Robredo of just wanting the “spotlight” when she called for a press briefing on Monday (December 16).

Robredo was supposed to reveal what she claims as discoveries that she made about the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign along with her recommendations to improve it.

But the Vice President decided to postpone her announcement because of the recent earthquake in the Mindanao Region.

Yesterday, Panelo questioned Robredo for deferring the announcement.

But the Vice President’s camp countered by accusing Palace officials of lacking compassion for the victims of the earthquake because they are more curious about her report than attending to the needs of the victims.

But according to Secretary Panelo, Robredo “only wants the spotlight.”

“She has deferred her report a number of times, looking for a perfect timing and hoping that people would pay attention to her as she struggles to be relevant, while the government is silently doing its job in addressing the issues our nation faces, such as providing assistance to those who were affected by the recent earthquake,” Panelo said.

The Palace official stressed that whatever Robredo says against the administration’s anti-drug campaign, the government will still address the needs of the earthquake victims as it is mandated to. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)


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