Duterte warns Robredo against sharing classified info

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Sunday, November 17, 2019, that President Rodrigo Duterte will strip Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni" Robredo of her role in the anti-drug campaign if she shares classified information to the international community.

Panelo said it would be damaging for the Filipino welfare to reveal such sensitive information to foreign individuals and entities as well as welcoming those who have trampled the country’s sovereignty.

“The President stated that disclosing classified information of the Philippine government to foreign individuals and entities will cause the removal of the Vice President from her current post,” Panelo said in a statement on Sunday.

“Any appointment made by the appointing authority must be exercised strictly in accordance with the law and never diametrically opposed to the interest and security of the state,” he added.

Panelo said such move is considered a crime under Article 229 of the Revised Penal Code which may result to a person’s perpetual disqualification from office.

"The President is merely reminding Vice President Leni of the imperatives as well as the limits of her appointment, lest she transgresses it," he said.

"It is his constitutional duty not only to enforce all the laws but to ensure that all his alter egos, including a co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, are performing their respective functions within the scope and ambit of the law," he added.

Following her appointment as the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Robredo had met with officials of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as U.S. embassy officials where they discussed how these foreign bodies can help the country in its drug problem.

This came after she requested to access documents and information pertaining to the administration’s drug war.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson, one of Robredo’s adviser as ICAD co-chair, said on Saturday it would be better for the Vice President to clarify with the Malacañang the scope of her authority and responsibility as ICAD co-chair to address possible misunderstanding and indifferences with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief and ICAD co-chair Aaron Aquino. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)