By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte does not need a law to justify his removal of Vice President Leni Robredo from the co-chairmanship of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Lack of confidence, lack of trust, sufficient reason para matanggal (to remove an appointee),” Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, said.
A former chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committees and former Philippine National Police chief, Lacson clarified he is not privy to the disagreements between the camps of Duterte and Robredo.
Asked if he felt that the firing of Robredo represented a lost opportunity in the fight against illegal drugs, Lacson agreed, saying the Vice President was “on the right track in addressing the problem of drugs.”
Lacson said that Robredo belatedly asked for the parameters of her job and scope of her authority after she was named ICAD co-chairman.
“Remember, ang communication very important. Pag may miscommunication, una ang rules of the game, basic yan. Pag ang rules hindi klaro at mali ang pagka-relay, ang may problema ang nagbibigay ng instruction,” he said. (Communication is very important. The basic rule of the game is communication. When the rules are not clear nor communicated well, the one giving the message is at fault.)
“Mas maganda sana lahat ito – hindsight, unang araw pa lang, nagkaroon ng pagpupulong sa pagitan ng Presidente at VP,’’ he added. (In hindsight, it would have been better if the President and the Vice President discussed her responsibilities the day she started.)
Lacson recalled telling Senate reporters last week that Robredo’s stay in ICAD was “untenable” when the President in his late-night presscon declared he had lost trust in her.