The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said the staff of President Rodrigo Duterte has been feeding him misinformation following the president's claim that the new anti-drug czar invited foreign prosecutors to investigate the so-called war on drugs.
The STAR/Felicer Santos | AFP/Ted Aljibe
Robredo camp denies Duterte's claim of inviting 'prosecutor' for drug war
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 21, 2019 - 11:39am

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo clarified that the new anti-drug czar did not invite foreign prosecutors to investigate the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier claimed that Robredo invited prosecutors from a "Human Rights Commission."

Vice presidential spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said the president's advisers have been feeding him wrong information about Robredo supposedly inviting prosecutors.

"Si VP Leni ay nakatutok sa trabahong ipinasa sa kanya ng panguloang pag-ayos at pagpapalakas sa kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Wala siyang ipinaabot na ganyang imbitasyon," Gutierrez said in a statement released Thursday.

(Vice President Leni is focused on the job the president assigned to her—organizing and strengthening the campaign against illegal drugs. She did not indicate such investigation.)

Gutierrez said the presidential staff should make sure that they relay accurate information to Duterte and not "fake news."

"Kung fake news ang naiaabot sa pangulo, makakasira lang iyan sa ating laban sa iligal na droga," Gutierrez said.

(If fake news is being delivered to the president, it will only do harm to our fight against illegal drugs.)

In a press briefing Tuesday night, Duterte threatened to slap a United Nations "prosecutor" in front of Robredo.

The president, however, mistakenly alluded to Phelim Kine, a human rights advocate, whom Robredo invited to help her with the drug war.

Kine, former deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division, earlier tweeted that he is ready to go to the Philippines to help advise how to end the "murderous" drug war.

He also suggested that Duterte should be arrested for inciting and instigating mass murder in the conduct of the anti-narcotics campaign.

Irked by Kine's tweet, Duterte dared Robredo to invite the human rights advocate to the Philippines.

"I dare you, invite him [Kine]. Sinabi ko kasi sa Immigration, papasukin ninyo. I dare you. Kung talagang dedicated ka, papasukin mo dito ‘yang p***** i**** yan. Puntahan kita sa opisina mo, sampalin ko ‘yan sa harap mo. Ito isampal ko. Totoo," Duterte said.

(I told the [Bureau of] Immigration to let him [Kine] enter the country. I dare you. If you are really dedicated, let him in. I will go to your office, I will slap him in front of you. For real.)

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