Robredo: I'll do what I can while ICAD co-chair
Vice President Leni Robredo answers questions from members of the media after her meeting with the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The STAR/Boy Santos
Robredo: I'll do what I can while ICAD co-chair
Franco Luna ( - November 24, 2019 - 11:19am

MANILA, Philippines — Despite President Rodrigo Duterte saying he doesn't trust her, Vice President Leni Robredo said that she would not resign from her post as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. 

"Siya yung nag-appoint sa akin. Siya din ang may kapangyarihan na tanggalin ako," Robredo said on her weekly radio show.

(He was the one who appointed me. He also has the power to remove me) 

On Friday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called Robredo "unethical" for saying that Duterte should tell her directly if he does not want her on the ICAD. 

"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.

"Siyempre, pag tinanggal ako, wala na akong magagawa. Kaya habang hindi pa ako tinatanggal, gagawin ko ang trabaho ko," Robredo said Sunday.

(Of course, if I am removed from the position, there's nothing I can do about it. So while that hasn't happened, I'll just keep working)

'Need to know basis' on 'drug war' info

Duterte in a sudden press conference in Malacañang on Tuesday night said that the Vice President's access to confidential matters would be strictly limited to a "need to know" basis because he did not trust her as she was part of the opposition.

"Hindi ako magreresign dahil ngayon pa na ang dami kong nakita ko na kailangan pang gawin, at tingin ko marami akong matutulong," Robredo said of the move in her radio show. 

(I will not resign, especially now that I've seen there is a lot to be done and I think I can help a lot)

Later in the segment, Robredo suggested that augmenting the 2020 budgets for the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Health, which are both part of the ICAD, would contribute to the committee's success.

"Mas mabuting dagdagan ng budget ang mga lead agencies," she said.  

Data needed

She also stressed that taking on an inter-sectoral, data-based public health approach to illegal drugs has yielded the best practices, although this should reflect in the budget allocations as well. 

"Hindi talaga puwedeng walang datos. Nakikita natin, iyong mga mahuhusay na LGU, talagang naging concerned sila sa datos," she said.

(You can't do it without data. We've seen how the excellent LGUs were really concerned about data) 

She also highlighted that the efforts of law enforcement, LGUs and even the church should come together in the rehabilitation of drug suspects. 

The vigilante-style killings linked to Duterte's own anti-drug efforts have led to at least 27,000 deaths, activists say. The PNP's own data from March says that some 5,000 "drug personalities" have died in official police proceedings. 

"Hindi talaga pwedeng law enforcement [iyong] paraan. Ang law enforcement, tumutulong lang siya, pero dapat collaboration ito [at] convergence ng mga efforts," she added. 

(It shouldn't just be law enforcement. Law enforcement should only help, but it should be a collaboration and convergence of the efforts)

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