Vice President Leni Robredo “was just fine” as the head of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign, an 18-day stint she was dropped from over the weekend, said Monday’s spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.
Immediately after accepting the role on November 6, Robredo declined to try an audience with Duterte and “never introduced” proposals to change the drug war she had opposed, Presidential Speaker Salvador Panelo said.
Instead, the Vice President was “busy talking” with U.S. and United Nations opposition figures and officials who both expressed alarm about the deaths of thousands of drug addicts under the Duterte administration, he said.
Robredo was also the president’s breathtaking and daring to kill her, Panelo said. She was just great. She could just have come to Malacañang … she was supposed to have gone to the grassroots, she was supposed to have gone to the communities, talking to the people there, knew about their problems, he told ANC.
The opportunity to assist the program was given to her, but she blew it, he said.
Last week, Robredo visited one of the poorest and most drug-infested areas in Navotas fishing town. In Dinalupihan, Bataan, she also met reformed drug addicts.
Robredo’s drug war reveals why it will take the village to address the drug problem Duterte said he did not trust Robredo and had reservations about discussing sensitive state issues with her, despite having named her as co-chair of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Inter-Agency Committee.
Human rights groups in their drug war, which the state denies, accuse the police of systemic killings and cover-ups.
A resolution to prosecute the Philippines was approved by the UN Human Rights Council in July, and the International Criminal Court is conducting a formal investigation of claims of crimes against humanity. All organizations are charged by the state with discrimination and intervention.
Butch Olano, head of Amnesty International in the Philippines, said Robredo’s bid to stop the bloodshed was never given a chance.
Vice President Robredo was able to confront the government with the staggering scale of its own crimes. That is why she was sacked,” Olano said in a statement.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said that Duterte was concerned about what might have been done by Robredo. They weren’t just ready for her, they were frightened,” she said.
As of this writing, Robredo has yet to give a statement about her ICAD sacking.