Robredo’s camp calls ICAD co-chair appointment ‘meaningless’

Marje Pelayo
Atty. Barry Gutierrez

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo confirmed on Tuesday (November 5) that it has received the memorandum regarding Robredo’s designation as co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Robredo’s spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said the Vice President is yet to respond to the letter on whether or not she will accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer.

Speaking for the Vice President, Gutierrez analyzed the offer as meaningless and that Malacañang is not serious regarding the issue.

“Klaro from sa natanggap namin na memorandum na medyo walang kalaman-laman itong inaalok na posisyong ito, (It’s clear from the memorandum we have received that the position is senseless),” he said.

Robredo’s spokesman noted that under Executive Order 15 which established the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), a position of a co-chairperson does not exist.

Also, Gutierrez said it was surprising that instead of designating as the drug czar or the head of the ICAD, Robredo was appointed as co-chair with the chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which is an undersecretary level.

“Paano namin ite-take seriously ang ganitong klaseng offer kung iyong mismong magiging co-chair niya sa isang komite ay nagpahayag na kaagad na hindi siya naniniwala sa magiging co-chair niya?” Gutierrez referring to PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino disparaging Robredo’s capability in relation to the anti-drug campaign.

(How could we take this offer seriously when the person himself with whom [Robredo] would be working as co-chair of the committee already concluded that the Vice President is incapable for the job?)

Robredo’s spokesperson also argued that EO 15 is mere implementation of the policy and no control nor supervision over the 41 agencies included in the ICAD.

Nevertheless, Gutierrez said the vice president is taking the country’s illegal drugs problem seriously and that the system needs some overhaul.

“Seryoso siya na kailangan itong ayusin, (She is serious in saying that the campaign needs to be fixed, ” he said

“Seryoso siya na ang dapat habulin ay ang malalaking sindikato ng droga at hindi ang mga maliliit na mamamayan na nagiging biktima nitong kampanyang ito,”

(She seriously believes that the government should run after the large drug syndicates and not after the ordinary people who are also victims of this anti-drug campaign.)

Gutierrez confirmed that Robredo will deliver her statement on the issue including her recommendations or proposal on how to eradicate drugs menace in the country and the direction that the government should take in relation to the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

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