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Panelo slams disobliging Leni

The senatorial aspirant said that Leni used her position as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs to discredit the government before the international community.

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Former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo on Friday alleged that Vice President Leni Robredo had wasted chances of uniting the country through the opportunities given her to work with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Because she wasted the opportunity given by the people to unite the country, as well as the opportunity given by President Duterte to work with the administration,” Panelo said Leni does not deserve the vote of the Filipino people on 9 May 2022.

Leni is seeking the presidency against several candidates, including former Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr., Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and labor leader Leody de Guzman.

Panelo cited Duterte’s appointment of the Vice President as Housing Secretary in 2016 and claimed that “she only shut her mouth,” instead of participating in cabinet discussions. He also claimed that she opposed some government programs.

“It will be recalled that although he did not have this obligation, President Duterte included VP Leni in the Cabinet and appointed her Housing Secretary in 2016. But instead of using the opportunity to participate in Cabinet meetings to convey her suggestions and opposition to some government program, she shut her mouth,” Panelo said.

Panelo added that instead of voicing out, Leni turned to the media to slam Duterte’s programs.

Previous Tribune reports said President Duterte did not allow Leni to attend cabinet meetings, prompting her to quit her post.

Leni resigned as chairperson of the then-Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in December 2016. This was after she received a text message from then-Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco Jr., relaying Duterte’s instruction through former Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to “desist from attending all Cabinet meetings”.

“She could have been heard, and the cabinet would have debated what direction was best for the country. Instead, it turned to the media to repeatedly slap the administration. So, it is only right that PRRD did not allow VP Leni to attend the cabinet meeting, until she finally resigned,” Panelo stated.

Panelo also shared that Leni used her position as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs to discredit the government before the international community.

She was immediately fired after only after three weeks in the office.

“In 2019, the President gave VP Leni a second chance when she was appointed co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. Instead of cooperating with the government, VP Leni used the position to discredit it in the international community over the war on drugs. So, it’s no surprise that he was immediately fired,” Panelo said.

Daily Tribune tried to reach the Office of the Vice President to react to Panelo’s statement but received no reply at press time.

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