By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte recently declared that he was not afraid of Vice President Leni Robredo, and reiterated that she just failed to do her job when she was placed in charge of the administration’s war on drugs.
The President, however, admitted that he actually dreaded that had Robredo stayed in the post for long, she would just “talk and talk” instead of solving the drug problem.
“‘What are you afraid of me?’ Ah, me afraid of you? No. I’m afraid that if you stay long there, you will just…,” he said during the Bonifacio Day commemorative rites last Saturday, before trailing off.
“You know, that office does not require you to fight criminals. Pero kung gusto niya, okay man. Siya ang mag-lead para tapos na ang problema ko. Siya lang ang mag-lead at magbigay ng direction [But if she liked, it’s okay. She would lead so my problem is over. She will lead and give direction] but she was not allowed to just talk and talk and talk,” he said.
The President expressed his dismay anew with Robredo, who consulted with foreigners critical of his drug war instead of local authorities involved in drug enforcement and rehabilitation efforts when she co-chaired the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“Ito naman si Leni. She made an a****** of herself. The day I appointed her, what did she do? She went to the embassy of the United Nation. Then she told us that she wanted to talk to the UN (United Nations), EU (European Union),” he said.
“She was inviting personalities. She was not solving any problem at all mind you,” he added.
The President recently sacked Robredo less than three weeks after being appointed as ICAD co-chairperson. She was criticized by the President for her alleged missteps such as taunting him to fire her, consulting foreigners about the anti-drug efforts and seeking access to classified documents.
Robredo, however, came out fighting, asking Duterte if he was afraid of what she would find out about his drug war.
She said her removal from the post would not stop her determination to stop the senseless killings in the drug war and hold those accountable to account. She also vowed to reveal her findings on the drug war from her brief stint as ICAD co-chair.