The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has scoffed at her designation by President Rodrigo Duterte as co-chairperson of the inter-agency body created to oversee the government’s war on drugs.
Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, called the memorandum on Robredo’s designation empty because the position of co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was non-existent.
“Very clear na iyong co-chair, kapag tiningnan mo iyong Executive Order No. 15, ay hindi nag-e-exist na posisyon under the EO itself,” he said in a press conference Tuesday (November 5).
EO 15 was signed by Duterte in 2017 establishing the ICAD. In a memorandum dated October 31, the President said Robredo would serve as co-chair of ICAD until June 30, 2022, unless sooner revoked.
Gutierrez cast doubts on Duterte’s intention for appointing Robredo, noting that her co-chair at the ICAD, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino, only has the rank of an Undersecretary.
Malacañang earlier said Robredo will have a Cabinet rank if she accepts her designation.
“Nagulat kami na instead as being designated as iyong drug czar, o iyong head ng buong operasyon na ito, ay siya ay co-chair,” Gutierrez said.
Duterte dared Robredo to oversee the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs after she called it a “failure.”
Gutierrez said Robredo will announce her decision on the President’s designation by Wednesday. He said the Vice President will also write to Duterte about her recommendations for improving the campaign against illegal drugs.