Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday refused to step down as anti-drug czar despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s lack of trust.
She said that if the President is unsatisfied with her performance as the appointed co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), he should fire her. But in the absence of an order, she will continue with her job.
“Dapat diretsuhin na lang ako. Diretso naman akong kausap. Kung ayaw niya na, kung nagkamali siya pag-appoint sa akin at gusto niya bawiin, sabihin niya lang. Madali akong kausap. Pero habang mayroong ineexpect sa akin na trabaho, gagawin ko,” she said in a media briefing after her meeting with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
[Translation: He should tell it to me straight. If he doesn’t want me anymore, if he realized that he made a mistake in appointing me and wants to retract it, he should just say it. But for now, I will do my job.]
Duterte on Tuesday said he “cannot trust her” because as an opposition leader, she might leak classified information about the drug war and the government, including information about its dealings with China. In the same speech, he said he will not fire Robredo, acknowledging that “she is working.”
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said it’s clear Duterte wants Robredo to leave ICAD without firing her.
“He is leaving up to her to take the initiative and tender her resignation. I think her position has become untenable. Responsibility without commensurate authority is a guaranteed formula for failure,” he said in a statement.
Duterte said he will only give Robredo access to classified information on a “need to know” basis, echoing the position of law enforcement agencies wary of giving her a list of high-value drug targets.