Opposition not surprised by Duterte axing Robredo from ICAD

Marje Pelayo
Philippine Senator Francis Pangilinan. (Photo: JAY DIRECTO/AFP via Getty Images)

MANILA, Philippines – The recent dismissal of Vice President Leni Robredo from her position as co-chairperson of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD) drew flak from critics of the Duterte administration.

Senator Francis Pangilinan lambasted the Duterte administration for not keeping its word to the people.

He claimed the administration is being threatened by the vice president’s growing popularity.

“Malacañang did not just blink. Parang silang napuwing nang todo-todo. Umatras,” Pangilinan tweeted.

“Dahil sa takot at pangamba na lalo pang lumawak ang suporta kay VP Leni bunga ng mas maayos at higit na epektibong kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, agad-agad nilang tinanggal siya sa ICAD,” he added.

Senior Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, said Robredo’s dismissal was expected.

“The firing of VP Leni is bound to happen because the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs is truly a sham,” Zarate said.

“From day one of her appointment up until she was fired, she was already a threat to the Duterte administration’s bloody yet fake drug campaign,” he added.

On the other hand, Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman said it was wrong of Robredo to take Duterte’s offer seriously, adding that the vice president should not have accepted the offer because it was a set up for her to fail.

“The mistake of Vice President Leni Robredo is that she took her role as anti-drugs czar very seriously while President Rodrigo Duterte considered her appointment as a flippant joke and an off-the-cuff reaction to her criticisms on his bloody war against drugs,” Lagman noted.

“From the very start, Robredo was set up to fail.” He added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, accused the administration of covering up its incompetency in hosting the 30th South East Asian Games in the country.

“The timing of this decision is not surprising to me. I won’t be surprised if this is yet another attempt to draw public attention away from widespread anomalies & incompetent and embarrassing handling of the SEA Games,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

But Malacañang denied on Sunday (November 24) that Robredo’s dismissal was a move to divert public attention away from the failures in organizing the SEA Games.

“The SEA Games organizers have apologized. You cannot discount any delays, incident of non-transport or late checking-in given the fact that there are so many athletes coming in,” Panelo said.

He added that such circumstance cannot be avoided and was never intentional. MNP (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)

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