Vice President Leni Robredo meets with the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council, led by Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, and the Barangay Anti Drug Abuse Council of Brgy. Culiat in Quezon City on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, to know more about the drug situation in the area and the interventions that have been initiated to address the problem.
OVP/Jay Ganzon
Panelo advises Robredo: Just leave if you can't stand the heat
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 22, 2019 - 4:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo suggested that Vice President Leni Robredo resign from her post as the new anti-drug czar if she feels uncomfortable on the job.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he does not trust the vice president, who accepted her designation as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs or ICAD.

Robredo then said the president should just tell her directly if he wants her out of the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

"He (Duterte) should just tell me directly. If he does not want me here, in the first place, why did he appoint me?" Robredo said earlier this week.

For Panelo, Robredo's response was a display of "disrespect" and "may be considered unethical."

"What is the rule of thumb with respect to people who feel that they are unwanted? If you are uncomfortable in a position or you cannot stand the heat in the kitchen then the most appropriate and proper thing to do is to leave quietly," Panelo said in a press briefing Friday.

Panelo said Robredo should have asked for a meeting with Duterte to clarify the scope of her position in the ICAD after accepting the designation.

What the vice president did was meet with different government agencies, as well as United States and United Nations officials for cooperation on the anti-narcotics campaign.

Robredo, however, earlier said she already wrote a letter to the president to clarify her tasks as ICAD co-chair. Duterte's response was that Robredo would be the one to determine her mandate, according to the vice president.

"It's not too late. The president did not say he will fire her. She will only be dismissed if she does things that will put the safety of our citizens in peril," Panelo said in Filipino.

According to Panelo, Duterte changed his mind of not appointing Robredo to the Cabinet due to her previous "missteps."

The vice president had asked for a list of the country's top drug suspects but was rejected by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency despite assuring the agency that classified information will not be disclosed to the public.

Robredo, meanwhile, said she will continue to do her job as anti-drug czar despite Duterte's remarks against her.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with