- Less than two weeks after her appointment as ICAD co-chair, Vice President Leni Robredo was sacked from her post.
- This came after Robredo launched her program by collaborating with foreign bodies in the rebranded anti-drug campaign and daring the President to fire her.
- Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President only fulfilled Robredo’s wishes.
MANILA, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Leni Robredo from her post as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), less than three weeks after her appointment, his spokesperson told CNN Philippines over the weekend.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Sunday that apart from her missteps, Duterte dismissed Robredo because she spoke with foreigners, was asking for the scope of her powers and was among those daring the President to fire her, along with Senator Francis Pangilinan.
“So pagbibigyan niya (Duterte) na rin si Pangilinan,” Panelo said.
[Translation: So the President is also giving in to Senator Kiko Pangilinan.]
Duterte told reporters earlier on Sunday that he has “yet to see” Robredo work as ICAD co-chair, even if she has met with various stakeholders and foreign bodies on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
He added that he cannot trust her because she is part of the opposition, but she can continue her work as ICAD co-chair.
The President also said that Robredo only needs to see the executive order that created the ICAD for guidance on her powers as ICAD co-chair.
“It’s there in the law, it’s there in the executive order creating itong ICAD … Nandiyan ‘yan. So basahin lang niya ‘yan, it’s all there and that is where she would really exercise ‘yung — kung mayroon,” he said.
[Translation: It’s there in the law, it’s there in the executive order creating the ICAD … It’s there. So she should just read it, it’s all there and that is where she would see what powers she could really exercise.]
Executive Order No. 15, which created the ICAD, does not provide for a co-chair post. It only says that the ICAD chairperson “shall have the overall responsibility to ensure that the objectives of the ICAD and the clusters herein created are accomplished.”
Speaking in her radio program earlier, Robredo stood pat on remaining in her post, unless Duterte fires her.
“Ako, siyempre, kapag tinanggal ako, wala naman ako, wala akong magagawa. Pero hindi ako magre-resign, dahil ngayon pa—ngayon pa na ang dami kong nakita na kailangan pang gawin, ngayon pa na tingin ko marami akong maitutulong,” she said.
[Translation: Of course, if I am removed, I cannot do anything about it. But I won’t resign, especially now that I’ve seen a lot of things that we can still do, I’ve seen that I can help in a lot of things.]
Duterte has earlier said he will fire Robredo if she discloses confidential information to foreign individuals.
In her two weeks as ICAD co-chair, Robredo has met with United Nations (UN) and US officials, several national and local government bodies, and members of the private sector and religious groups to consult them on how to move forward with the campaign against drugs.
This, despite receiving no clear guidance on what her powers as ICAD co-chair are. Malacañang initially said it was a Cabinet post where Robredo can have complete control over the anti-drug campaign, but the Palace backtracked on this Tuesday over “missteps” — her meeting with the UN and her request to receive classified information.—CNN Philippines