By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday, Nov. 25, expressed sadness that Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was fired as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Personally, I feel so sad about what happened,” Guevarra told reporters.
“There was this opportunity for the administration and even the opposition to bond together and put up a united front against a common enemy which is illegal drugs,” he pointed out.
On Sunday, Malacanang announced that Robredo was fired from the ICAD which she co-chairs with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.
“I just hope that this development will somehow make our drug enforcement agencies bond together closer, closed ranks para maka focus sila ng attention (so that they can focus their attention) on the real battle, not on the political or leadership issue, but on the real battle on the ground which is against illegal drugs,” Guevarra stated.
On the other hand, the Secretary said it was up to President Duterte if he will bring back Robredo to the ICAD or not.
“He (Duterte) is very sharp when it comes to these matters. I don’t think he will need the advice of any advice from anyone. Alam ng Presidente kung ano ginagawa nya (The President knows what he is doing),” he pointed out.
At the moment, the DOJ chief said there was no need to find a replacement for Robredo at the ICAD.
“It’s not really absolutely necessary to have a co-chair. It’s not absolutely necessary. In fact, in the original EO (executive order), there is no such position for a co-chair,” he explained.
Malacanang Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the firing Robredo was made “in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party President Senator Francis Pangilinan to just fire the Vice President from her post” and the “the taunt and dare of VP Robredo for the President to just tell her that he wants her out.”