MANILA, Philippines – After 18 days in office as co-chairperson of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD) Vice President Leni Robredo was kicked out of the position by her appointing authority, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President has given Robredo the opportunity to discuss her plans with him so that they could talk about the limits of her job in the agency.
“She never presented any program at all as you can see,” Panelo said.
“She never presented any program, and remember, it is VP Leni herself who asked the president to terminate her,” he added.
Instead of talking to the President directly, Robredo preferred to issue press statements and speak with foreign officials such as the United Nations and the United States which, according to Malacañang, was ‘grandstanding’ against her appointing power.
“Let me quote the President, the President said last night to me: ‘She was just grandstanding.’ She could’ve just come to Malacañang, everybody goes to Malacañang,” Panelo said in a separate interview.
Panelo said the vice president wasted the opportunity given to her.
“First day of appointment pa lang dapat (pumunta) ka na kay Presidente (she could have approached the President), knocked on the door of Malacañang,” the presidential spokesman said.
“Kung ang ordinaryong tao, nakakapasok sa Malacañang, ang bise presidente pa (If ordinary people can enter Malacañang, how much more the vice president)?” he added.
Meanwhile, Panelo said the Palace’s announcement of Robredo’s dismissal was enough and there was no need to issue an executive order on the matter.
Duterte appointed Robredo as drug czar on November 6.
The Palace has yet to announce if the President will appoint a new ICAD co-chairperson to replace Robredo. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)