CHIEF Presidential Legal Counsel and presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday said the delay in Vice President Leni Robredo’s revelation of her alleged “discoveries” in the government’s war against drugs raises doubts on its credibility and highlights the possibility that it is fabricated.
Panelo said Robredo should have bared any irregularities or unlawful acts that she discovered related to the campaign against illegal drugs when she was still co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD), not after her removal from the post which she held for only more than two weeks.
“Why is she taking so long? Dahil ba kasi may nagpi-prepare nang iba para sa kaniya? Ano iyong report na iyon? (Why is she taking so long? Is it because someone is still preparing it for her? What kind of a report is that?),” Panelo asked.
“Ngayong nasa labas ka na, gusto mo nang ilabas. That does not speak well of the Vice President (Now that you are out, you want to reveal it. That does not speak well of the Vice President.),” he added.
Panelo said Robredo had the opportunity to expose her findings since she has been holding regular media conferences since she was appointed as ICAD co-chair.
Asked if it means that the report could be fabricated, Panelo said “Presumably, otherwise kasi nga… kung nandiyan ka sa loob ng gobyerno, head ka ng agency, natuklasan mo may iregularidad, will you keep your mouth shut? Of course not! (Presumably, otherwise … if you are working in the government and you’re the head of the agency, and you discovered an irregularity, will you keep your mouth shut? Of course not!)”
“Immediately may presscon, ‘I discovered this, Mr. President, this and that.’ Eh ilang araw na iyon. Tapos next week pa yata, ano ba iyan? (Immediately you will have a presscon and say, ‘I discovered this and that, Mr. President.’ But it has been days already and she has not done that. I think she will make an announcement next week but will that be?),” he added.
Panelo reiterated the Duterte administration is not hiding anything, exactly the reason why President Duterte gave the Vice President the chance to be part of the anti-drugs campaign.
In a separate interview in ABS-CBN News Channel, Panelo denied that the appointment of Robredo to ICAD was a “miscalculation” on the part of the administration.
He said Robredo had been talking about a need to improve the anti-drug war and the President gave her the chance.
“No, it was not a miscalculation. You must remember that this President is a master tactician. He would not have been President, he would have not won all the elections that he ran into, if he is not that good,” Panelo said.
He added Robredo had been critical of the campaign and the President gave her the chance to present whatever scheme or strategies that she has, but she failed to deliver.