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Ayaw mag-assume! Robredo begs off from classified briefing with PDEA chief unless Duterte clarifies her ICAD role

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Vice President Leni Robredo passed off an offer from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino to be briefed on classified matters related to the drug war due to confusion over her mandate as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Robredo told reporters Wednesday (November 20) that she chose not to receive confidential information on the government’s anti-drug campaign until President Rodrigo Duterte clarifies her role at ICAD.

She said Aquino offered to brief her on confidential matters this morning but she refused.

“Sinabi ko kay Director General Aquino, hindi ko muna titingnan—may briefing sana kanina, binibigyan sana ako ng folders ng classified matters—until na-clarify kung ano talaga iyong limits ng aking mandato. Kasi iyong lumalabas sa media hindi maganda. Parang pinu-push ko iyong mandato ko beyond what it really is,” the Vice President said.

Robredo said Aquino had written Duterte following her appointment earlier this month to clarify her mandate, but the President responded by saying it’s up to ICAD to determine the limits of her role.

The Vice President said she wrote Duterte another letter asking him to spell out her mandate as ICAD co-chairperson.

“Kailangan siya iyong magsabi ng ano ba iyong… ano ba iyong mandatong binibigay sa akin, ano ba iyong limits. Kasi ako naman, wala naman akong plano na mag… parang magsaklaw ng mandato ng iba,” Robredo said.

Malacañang earlier said Duterte has “reservations” about sharing classified state matters with Robredo due to her supposed “misssteps” in her first few days as ICAD co-chairperson.

In a press conference Tuesday (November 20), the President said he will not fire Robredo but government agencies should provide her with information only on a “need-to-know” basis.

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