Palace: Duterte won’t med­dle with Ro­bredo’s work as drug czar

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - FRONT PAGE -

VICE Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo will have a free hand in han­dling the drug prob­lem in the coun­try, Mala­cañang said on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 6, af­ter she ac­cepted Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s chal­lenge for her to co-chair the In­ter-Agency Com­mit­tee on Anti-Il­le­gal Drugs (Icad).

In a press con­fer­ence, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said the ex­ec­u­tive branch would let Ro­bredo be

“on top of the sit­u­a­tion” in ad­dress­ing the ram­pant nar­cotics trade in the coun­try.

“We will give all the sup­port. Be­ing a mem­ber of the Cab­i­net, it be­hooves upon all of us to help each other be­cause her suc­cess is the suc­cess of all the Cab­i­net, as well as this ad­min­is­tra­tion, and ul­ti­mately, the Filipino peo­ple,” he said.

“Her suc­cess is our suc­cess and her fail­ure would be our fail­ure. I don’t think we would want that,” he added.

The state­ment was is­sued shortly af­ter Ro­bredo agreed to lead the Icad, along with Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Aaron Aquino.

She will serve as co-chair of the anti-drug body un­til Duterte’s term ex­pires in 2022.

Panelo said Duterte would not med­dle, un­less Ro­bredo asks for as­sis­tance.

“Kung hini­hingi ang tu­long ni Pres­i­dente, bakit na­man hindi siya tu­tu­lun­gan (If she asks the Pres­i­dent’s help, why would she not get as­sis­tance)? Mean­while, we will let her lead that agency,” he said.

Panelo said the Palace be­lieves in Ro­bredo’s ca­pa­bil­ity in help­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion fight the il­le­gal drugs.

Aquino ear­lier raised worry that Ro­bredo might not be able to lead the drug war as she lacks ex­pe­ri­ence.

Panelo, how­ever, said Ro­bredo can even­tu­ally mas­ter her new role un­der the Duterte gov­ern­ment.

“She will learn all the job. La­hat na­man ‘yun (She will learn). Every­one learns,” the Palace of­fi­cial said.

“Let us not un­der­es­ti­mate the ca­pa­bil­ity of this Vice Pres­i­dent. When she was crit­i­ciz­ing, she ap­peared to have a lot of ideas in her mind be­cause she said it’s not ef­fec­tive. Then let’s use other tac­tics that she must have, a lot of ideas in her mind,” he added.

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