SENATE minority leader Franklin Drilon yesterday pressed Malacañang to make it clear if Vice President Leni Robredo was sacked as drug czar because she was stepping on big toes in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Drilon said President Duterte or other Palace leaders should respond to the question raised by the Vice President after she was fired as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Simple lang naman ang tanong ni VP Leni kay Pangulo: bakit kayo natatakot? Ano ba kinatatakutan ninyo? Siguro iyon ang dapat sagutin, gustong malaman ni VP Leni ‘yun (VP Leni’s question to the President was plain and simple: why are you afraid? What is it that you are afraid of? That should be answered, VP Leni wants to know what their response is),” Drilon told radio dzMM.
Robredo on Monday caused ripples when she boldly asked Duterte: “What are you so afraid of? What is it that you’re afraid that I might stumble upon? What are you afraid that the people would know of?”
Stressing that the narcotics problem of the government was grave and requires the cooperation of everyone, Robredo also asked: “Aren’t they really serious in this war? Or was I getting on the way of some people’s interests?”
The Vice President, undaunted by her sudden removal from her 18-day old post, had also promised to make a report on her “discoveries” about the government’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs and make her recommendations to improve the strategy.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino said Robredo should make good on her promise to make public her supposed discoveries.
“I am personally encouraging VP Leni Robredo to make her revelations on what she claims as her ‘discoveries’ on the government’s drug war,” Aquino said in a statement.
“I believe that whatever revelations she have would help us in improving and furthering the anti illegal drug campaign,” Aquino said.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the PNP is “open” to whatever Robredo will say “especially if it will improve our campaign against high value targets in illegal drugs and pursuit of the community-based rehabilitation program.”
“We are just going to continue performing our job and we are not bothered (by Robredo making public her discoveries),” Banac said.
Banac nevertheless said he has no idea as to Robredo’s supposed discoveries.
Sen. Christopher Go warned drug addicts and pushers that their “vacation is over” and said the war against illegal drugs will be intensified anew now that Robredo is out of the picture as drug czar.
“Sa mga drug lords, tapos na ang inyong bakasyon (To the drug lords, your vacation is over),” Go said, noting that no drug lord was killed during the time that Robredo was ICAD co-chair.
Go said Robredo should have imitated Duterte’s strategy to stop the illegal drugs problem, which was to kill drug lords to send a scary signal to drug traders.
“Sa dalawang linggo niya, meron bang namatay na drug lord? Eh ‘yun ang gusto ng tao, patayin mo ang drug lord. Kung hindi, hindi titigil ang mga ‘yan. Kailangan patayin mo ang mga drug lord para tumigil ang droga (In her two weeks as drug czar, did we see a drug lord killed? The public wants drug lords killed, kill the drug lords, otherwise the problem won’t stop. We need to kill drug lords to stop the illegal drugs problem,” Go said.
Go also taunted the Vice Predident: “Maraming salamat po kay Vice President Leni sa dalawang linggong pagsisilbi bilang co-chair ng ICAD. Marami pong narinig ang taumbayan sa inyong programang ‘toklang’ (Thank you very much VP Leni for serving as co-chair of ICAD for two weeks. People learned a lot from your ‘toklang’ [talk only] program),” Go said.
Drilon reminded Go that Robredo accepted the offer to be drug czar to save lives.
“Sabi nga ni Sen. Go sa nakalipas na 18 days walang namatay sa drug war. Parang masama na walang namatay (Sen. Go said not a single drug lord was killed in the drug war the past 18 days. He made it look like that this was bad for us because was no one killed),” Drilon said. – With Victor Reyes