Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday said President Duterte should not be afraid of her findings and recommendations on the war on drugs if he really has nothing to hide.
“Depende kung ano iyong dala-dala nila. Kasi kahit ako, kung wala naman akong tinatago, kapag sinabing ‘magsa-suggest ako dahil sa mga natuklasan ko,’ hindi naman ako matatakot, e. (It depends on what they’re keeping from the public. If I’m not hiding anything and someone says, ‘I’ll suggest some things after what I’ve discovered,’ then I wouldn’t be scared),” Robredo said in her radio program Biserbisyong Leni aired over RMN-DZXL.
Robredo said she was baffled why Malacañang seemed to be so rattled after she announced that she will make public what she has discovered about the drug war during her 18-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said last week the President Duterte has nothing to hide and that he simply lost trust with Robredo due to various “missteps,” such as her alleged her failure to present her drug plan to him and her meeting with officials of the United Nations.
“Parang grabe iyong reaksyon sa sabi natin na mag, iyong recommendations natin dahil sa mga natuklasan. Kakaiba iyong reaksyon (The reaction to my statement that I’ll make recommendations after my discoveries was too much). It was absurd),” Robredo said.
“Hindi ko alam kung bakit ganoon iyong reaksyon. Parang sinasabi tinatakot ko sila? Bakit ko sila tatakutin, eh iisa lang ako, ang dami-dami nila? (I do not understand why they reacted the way they did. They said I was threatening them?” How can I do that? I am only one, and there are so many of them),” she added.
The Vice President said she will make her report after the conduct of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games which the country is hosting.
Robredo said her office was prepared to make the report late last week after being challenged by the administration to present it.
“Pero ang sabi ko, Ka Ely, parang patapusin muna natin itong SEA Games, at least iyong opening, iyong opening ng SEA Games, para in deference naman sa mga atleta natin (But I said, Ka Ely, let’s finish the SEA Games first, at least the opening, in deference to our athletes),” she said.
Robredo said the Palace is making it appear that she is threatening the President with damaging information.
“E bakit? E talaga namang may matutuklasan ako kasi nilagay ako diyan, mayroon akong trabaho, at iyong trabaho ko talaga gawing mabuti iyong mga hindi mabuti (Why? It’s true that I’ve discovered some things when I was appointed there [ICAD] and I had a job which was to fix everything that’s wrong in there),” she said.
The Vice President said she is not reporting her findings to threaten anyone but to help the government improve its campaign against prohibited drugs.
“Pero ito, hindi ito pananakot, Ka Ely, kasi bakit ko naman gagawin iyon? Hindi iyon magdudulot ng kabutihan. (This isn’t a threat, Ka Ely, why would I do that? It won’t do any good),” Robredo said. “Kung tayo man ay nagpupuna, pinupuna natin para maayos, 1hindi lang iyong basta pagpuna (If we criticize, we criticize constructively not just for the sake of criticizing).”
She added: “Para (ito) sa ikabubuti ng kampanya. At tingin ko, iyong mga nakatrabaho ko, alam na well-intentioned tayo, na hinahanapan natin papaano ba mapapabuti, papaano maaayos iyong mga gusot, ano iyong mga recommendations natin na baguhin sa kampanya (What I will be reporting to the public will help the campaign. Those who have worked with me know that I have good intentions, that my recommendations would help improve the campaign).”
After she was fired, Robredo warned the administration that she was not one to back down from a good fight, saying “she’s just getting started.”
She then promised to make a report to the public on her discoveries about the government’s war against illegal drugs and give her recommendations on how to make the campaign become better, especially on the aspect of handling drug suspects and users.