By Ben Rosario
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said Vice President Leni Robredo should be insulated from criticisms in the meantime that she is still acclimatizing herself to her new role as among the country’s drugbusters in the country.
However, Cayetano said that while a moratorium on blame-throwing and criticism is being accorded Robredo, her political allies should likewise observe a similar ceasefire.
“Welcome ang pagpasok ni (the entry) Vice President Robredo because illegal drugs is a problem that should be insulated from politics. Drugs is a problem na hindi dapat may oposisyon at may administrasyon,” explained Cayetano during a media ambush interview at the sidelines of the necrological ceremony for the late LPGMA Partylist Rep. Rodolfo Albano Jr. at the House of Representatives.
He added: “Give her time to assess the situation and get comfortable into her new role.”
Cayetano noted that certain leaders of the political opposition have raised issues against politics behind the appointment of Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Drug Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
He said this is also what allies of theDuterte administration have been asking backers of Robredo, who defeated the incumbent House leader during the 2016 vice presidential race.
But if Robredo has criticisms against the way the Duterte government handled the illegal drugs war, she should also be ready with her proposals to address the problem, Cayetano said.
If Robredo will only reiterate what the problem is, it will not solve the country’s drug situation.
“Criticism is always welcome. But I think we have to stop politicizing the campaign against drug and come up with a consensus,” the House speaker stressed.
“If she will just criticize in the inside while coming from the outside, what help would that give us,” he pointed out.
Reacting to Robredo’s protest against the massive violence in the campaign against narcotics, Cayetano said these killings explain why the current anti-drugs campaign is called a “drug war.”
Earlier, Robredo’s Liberal Party allies advised her against accepting Duterte’s offer for her to co-chair ICAD.
LP stalwart and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the offer was designed to set up the vice president to fail.
On the other hand, former Rep. Erin Tañada admitted that many of LP leaders have advised Robredo not to accept the job, saying that they were taken by surprise by her decision.