Duterte expects Robredo to 'see realities on the ground'

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo’s decision to accept the position of co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (Icad), Malacañang said on Thursday, November 7.

The President, during the 43rd Cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday night, November 6, expressed hope that Robredo would finally “see the realities on the ground” in relation to the fight against illegal drugs, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“The President mentioned it was good that Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo accepted his formal offer to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs,” Panelo said in a statement.

“With the Vice President at the helm of the anti-narcotics campaign, President Duterte expects that the former would see the realities on the ground, particularly with respect to the government's position against extrajudicial or state-sponsored killings,” Panelo added.

Robredo on Wednesday accepted the position of co-chairperson of Icad, despite the opposition's concern that it might be a “trap”.

Icad officials said the Vice President has called for a meeting Friday, November 8, 2019, and asked that she be briefed about the committee's programs.

Robredo co-chairs the Icad along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino until June 30, 2022, according to the October 31, 2019 memorandum signed by Duterte.

In accepting the challenge, the Vice President said the position would be an opportunity for her to stop the killing of innocent victims of the drug war and hold those responsible accountable.

Panelo said Duterte was optimistic that Robredo would eventually realize that “deaths occur due to the violent reactions on the part of agents of the illegal drug trade against the strict enforcement of the law.” (NASE/SunStar Philippines)