What’s keeping Leni Robredo, the beleaguered co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), from resigning her post? That’s the question asked by administration supporters and the misguided allies of the equivocal Vice President, whose claim to that elective office is the subject of an electoral protest.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Robredo to the ICAD to let her realize the difficulty of fighting drug syndicates in the country. Robredo had been a critic of the President’s anti-narcotics campaign. An armchair critic, that was what she was, because she isn’t even street-smart and she has no experience in fighting organized crime.
It even looks like Robredo accepted her post in the ICAD to sabotage President Duterte’s ongoing anti-illegal drugs campaign which, unknown to Robredo, has made city streets safe again.
The indications of sabotage are manifest.
Robredo began her stint in the ICAD by telling the media that she will pursue the anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Duterte with the same zeal demonstrated by the President. She added, however, that there will be “zero killings” in the process.
How can the government fight the drug syndicates zealously and at the same time maintain a “zero killings” policy? That’s like ordering an army to attack the enemy without killing any of the latter. It’s a stupid policy.
In fact, Robredo seems to be getting what she wanted from the start. Since she became ICAD co-chairman, the nation’s anti-illegal drugs campaign has virtually grounded to a standstill, much to the delight of drug dealers and drug users alike.
Almost on cue, Robredo allowed the Commission on Human Rights headed by Jose Luis Gascon, one of ex-President Benigno Aquino III’s most loyal and devoted stooges, to announce that it will probe all human rights violations committed by the government in its anti-narcotics war. It was obvious that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was looking forward to obtaining from Robredo, its yellow army ally, all classified information in the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Robredo knows that President Duterte appointed her to continue the anti-illegal drugs campaign. The President did not appoint her to waste government time and resources on protracted investigations of past operations conducted by the government in its unrelenting war against the illegal drug trade in the country.
Likewise, Robredo demanded that the PDEA yield to her all the classified information the CHR was very desperate to get. In doing so, Robredo acted as if she was the head of the ICAD, and not merely the co-chairman of the collegiate body.
After that, Robredo allowed international human rights organizations to enter the picture. Robredo requested these foreign groups for information critical of the anti-illegal drugs campaign in the Philippines.
Undoubtedly, Robredo knew that those overtures to President Duterte’s biased bashers are certain to antagonize the President.
Robredo’s underhanded behavior reminds many of the time when she was still a member of the Duterte Cabinet. She spoke badly of the President each time she met a foreign diplomat. That led to her dismissal from the Cabinet.
Going back to the ICAD issue, President Duterte recently announced that he no longer trusts Robredo. Although Duterte did not fire her, he said that Robredo’s item in the ICAD is no longer equivalent to a Cabinet post. The President had earlier said Robredo’s post in the ICAD was a Cabinet level appointment.
In turn, Robredo stated in a television interview that if President Duterte wanted her out of the ICAD, all he had to do was to say so. Like her spokesman, Robredo had a difficult time completing her sentences in English. She was also smirking as if she was glad she was able to annoy the President and to create trouble in the ICAD.
Despite her minimal skills as a lawyer, Robredo can’t be that stupid to realize that the handwriting is on the wall, and that it’s time for her to leave the ICAD. She obviously wants President Duterte to fire her so she can use her dismissal as another pointless issue against the President.