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Duterte mum on possible replacement for Robredo at ICAD


By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has yet to decide on the replacement of Vice President Leni Robredo as the country’s next anti-drug czar.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the inauguration of the 105-Megawatt Coal-Fired Power Plant Phase 2 of Sarangani Energy Corporation and the launch of the 14.5-Megawatt Hydropower Project of Siguil Hydro Power Corporation in Maasim, Sarangani Province on November 22, 2019. (JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)


Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President has not given indication on who will be appointed the next co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) following the removal of Robredo.

“I don’t know yet. The President has not yet said anything about that,” he said in Filipino during a radio interview when asked if the President intends to appoint a new ICAD co-chair.

The President recently fired Robredo as ICAD co-chairperson for reasons, including her alleged incompetence and failure to present any new strategy to address the country’s drug problem. Duterte was also displeased with Robredo’s supposed missteps such as taunting him to fire her, consulting foreigners critical of his drug war, and seeking access to classified information on the anti-drug campaign.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo had said Robredo had it coming after she disrespected the President’s office and engaged in grandstanding.

“She was fired for incompetence, in addition to her failure to introduce new measures she claimed she had, as against what she claimed to be ineffective method in fighting the drug menace,” he said.

Annoyed by her criticisms of his drug war, Duterte issued a memorandum designating Robredo as ICAD co-chair last October 31 and dared her to prove her mettle in leading the drug war. Duterte however balked from appointing Robredo to his Cabinet because he did not trust the opposition leader.

The Vice President, in accepting the post, vowed to put an end to the “senseless killings” in the government’s anti-drug campaign. She held a flurry of meetings with concerned government agencies as well as consulate with the United Nations and United States officials on the anti-drug efforts.

Panelo recently admitted that the President has not yet read the reports submitted by Robredo to his office.

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