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

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019   •   232

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.

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)

VP Robredo no significant contribution to PH anti-drug war – PDEA Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has contributed nothing significant to the country’s anti-drug campaign, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino.

This, despite Robredo’s brief appointment as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“She did not in any way supervise our people down there in the fields,” Aquino said.

“So I guess wala namang nabago o wala namang dapat glaring issues na makikita natin na talagang bumababa ang krimen o bumababa ang accomplishments natin sa drugs,” he added.

Aquino believes that Robredo could have understood the state and the scope of the illegal drug menace in the country if she had met with the different clusters of ICAD before she proceeded to establishing international connections such as with the US Embassy and the United Nations officials.

Aquino said, the Vice President only met with the enforcement cluster during her stay in ICAD.

“Should she met the four clusters, mas magiging malaki ang kaniyang scope of knowledge kung ano ang drug situation ng Pilipinas, Aquino noted.

“And maybe after meeting the four clusters, sana kung mayroon man siyang ma-i-implement na program or strategy to strengthen the ICAD, sana nagawa,” the PDEA Director General said.

Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, advised her critics to wait for the release of her recommendations and her own report on the status of the drug situation in the country.

“She’ll deliver (her) report soon. I suggest we just wait for that,” her spokesman. Atty. Barry Gutierrez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Robredo as the anti-drug czar for her ‘missteps’ in handling her position. The PDEA together with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is now working on the creation of an official database of drug pushers and user in the country which is expected to be released in 2020. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte dares Robredo to expose alleged discovery in PH drug war

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and Vice President Leni Robredo (L)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has dared Vice President Leni Robredo to speak up and expose what she claimed as her discoveries in the government’s war on drugs during her short stay as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“You seem to be na may impormasyon ka, ilabas mo, (You seem to have information, then expose it),” the President said emphatically.

Duterte dismissed Robredo from her post exactly 18 days after he appointed her to the position because the latter’s recent actions and public statements displeased the President especially her communications with officials of the United States and the United Nations.

After her dismissal, Robredo warned to expose what she knows about the controversial anti-drug program.

“Sa mga susunod na araw magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at ang aking mga rekomendasyon,” Robredo said at a press briefing the day after she was fired on November 25.

(In the coming days, I will give a report to the people. I will speak of what I have discovered as well as my recommendation.)

“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” she added.

(If they think it will end here, then they don’t know me. This is just the beginning.)

But the President was unfazed by this warning.

He made certain that Robredo was having communications with former Human Rights Watch Asia Head Phelim Kine whom the President considers as among the critics of the government being a prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“You talked to almost all people instead of talking to the law enforcement, instead of talking to the barangay captain, instead of talking to people handling the rehabilitation,” he said referring to Robredo.

“I should say, she made an asshole of herself,” the President stressed.

Kine vocally expressed his willingness to go to Manila to help the Vice President in her programs and suggested the arrest of President Duterte and his cohorts because of the alleged human rights violations in the government’s anti-drug campaign. — MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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