Allies of Vice President Leni Robredo believe she was fired as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) to take the heat off House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano amid controversies surrounding the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, the Liberal Party’s president, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s firing of Robredo showed he can’t stick to his word.
Duterte earlier said Robredo will be the drug czar until 2022, unless her appointment was revoked sooner.
“Malacañang did not just blink. Parang silang napuwing nang todo-todo. Umatras. Dahil sa takot at pangamba na lalo pang lumawak ang suporta kay VP Leni bunga ng mas maayos at higit na epektibong kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, agad-agad nilang tinanggal siya sa ICAD,” Pangilinan said in a statement Sunday (November 24).
Senator Risa Hontiveros said it was ironic that Robredo lost her post first before Cayetano and other government officials responsible for the SEA Games fiasco.
“Pero hindi rin nakakapagtaka ang tiyempo ng pagsibak kay VP Robredo. Hindi ako magugulat kung ito ay bahagi ng isang malaking tangka para ilihis ang atensyon ng publiko sa malawakang anomalya at kapalpakan ng SEA Games,” she said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte sacked Robredo in response to Pangilinan’s earlier suggestion to fire her if the President does not trust her.
“This is also in response to the taunt and dare of VP Robredo for the President to just tell her that he wants her out,” Panelo added.
Robredo has yet to comment on her removal as ICAD chair as of Sunday night.