Palace fires back, says Robredo ‘incompetent’ in drug war

VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni" Robredo is “incompetent” to lead the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (Icad), Malacañang said on Monday, November 25.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after Robredo questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to fire her as Icad co-chairperson.

Panelo reiterated that Robredo failed to present new measures aimed at addressing the drug problem even after 18 days since she assumed her post at Icad.

“She was fired for incompetence, in addition to her failure to introduce new measures she claimed she had, as against what she claimed to be ineffective method in fighting the drug menace,” he said.

Duterte on October 31 appointed Robredo as Icad co-chairperson, despite having no trust in the Vice President. Icad is headed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director.

As Icad co-chairperson, Robredo has no access to confidential information about the government’s war on illegal drugs, as she can only give “directions and guidance” to Icad member-agencies.

On Sunday, November 24, Malacañang announced that Robredo was fired as co-chairperson of Icad since she merely wasted the opportunity to help the administration fight the rampant narcotics trade in the country.

Despite her termination as Icad head, Robredo on Monday said she would release a report on the government’s drug war in the next few days.

She said she would also present her recommendations.

Panelo said Robredo can do what she wants, but maintained that the government is “transparent” when it comes to its anti-narcotics campaign.

“She can do as she pleases. Anything that she claims she has discovered was accessed to her,” he said.

“She was precisely appointed, apart from giving her the opportunity to assist in the campaign against illegal drugs, to let her know that everything in the drug war was and is transparent,” he added. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)