MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Sunday confirmed Duterte’s decision to axe Robredo as drug czar.
“Yes,” Medialdea said in a text message, when asked if Robredo was sacked as head of ICAD.
The President booted Robredo out of ICAD, after his recent warning that he would fire the Vice President, in case she discloses confidential drug war records.
It also came a day after the President’s revelation that he was not satisfied with Robredo’s performance as drug czar.
“Insofar as what she (Robredo) is doing now, that is not very clear to me. Nakukulangan ako sa ability niya (I am not satisfied with her ability),” the President said in a media interview in Davao City on Saturday night.
“Ako, hindi pa siya nagta-trabaho talaga nang husto (For me, she has yet to give her best as she is really not doing her job well). I have yet to see the Vice President working as an ICAD co-chair,” he added.
Robredo was supposed to help her ICAD co-chair, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino, in addressing the drug menace in the country until June 30, 2022.
Robredo was appointed by Duterte as ICAD co-chair on October 31, following her claims that the current administration’s drug war is “absolutely not working.”
Duterte initially wanted Robredo to hold a Cabinet rank as ICAD co-chair, but later on changed his mind for fear that the Vice President might reveal “classified” matters about the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.
The Chief Executive admitted on Saturday that he can “never” trust Robredo when it comes to keeping the drug war records as secret.
“There can never be a trust that can be nurtured between the two of us for the simple reason that Leni Robredo is with the opposition, ako nandito ako sa kabila (while I belong to the ruling party),” Duterte said.
He made the admission as he acknowledged that Robredo leads the opposition and seeks foreign entities’ advice to improve the Philippines’ war on illegal drugs. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA – northboundasia.com