The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said she refuses to be made a “scapegoat” of the Duterte administration for failing to fulfill his promise of ending crime and drugs in the country within six months in 2016.
This was after President Duterte lambasted Robredo for calling for a reassessment of the administration’s bloody drug war. Duterte later challenged Robredo to take over as drug czar to “ensure her effectiveness in combatting the drug menace.”
Contrary to what Duterte has been claiming that Robredo was all talk when it comes to criticizing the drug war, her spokesperson, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, reiterated in a statement on Friday (November 1) that as early as 2016, the Vice President had reached out to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other concerned agencies, including the Philippine National Police, in suggesting her inputs on how to improve government’s efforts in addressing the country’s drug problem.
But Gutierrez said the agency, then headed by former Secretary Ismael Sueño, did not act on Robredo’s requests and inputs.
Robredo’s camp also accompanied its statement with a news article on the DILG ignoring Robredo’s request in 2017 asking for records and statistics related to the PNP’s Operation Double Barrel.
“As early as 2016, VP Leni engaged with DILG and other agencies to give suggestions on how to improve government efforts against illegal drugs. Her inputs were not acted on, and the admin excluded her from further discussions soon after. (Read: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/20/17/robredo-camp-shows-ignored-letter-to-dilg)
Gutierrez then said that Robredo is willing to work with the President as long as the offer is done in a respectful manner.
“Handa naman laging tumulong si VP Leni. Mula noon hanggang ngayon. Kung humihingi na ng saklolo ang Pangulo sa usapin ng “drug war,” daanin lang sana sa maayos na usapan — hindi sa text, hindi sa palabas sa media,” he said.
“What she will not stand for is being made a scapegoat for all the shortcomings of the “drug war” for the past three and a half years. This admin made the impossible promise to end crime and drugs in six months, and if they are now being called to account for their failure to deliver, they should not blame VP Leni for it,” he said.