Malacañang revealed on Tuesday, November 18 the reason behind President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “disinclination” to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo to a Cabinet post.
During a press briefing, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the President’s decision stemmed from the“missteps” she committed as co-chairperson of the Inter-agency Council on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. He also noted that the meeting of Robredo with foreign institutions and personalities that have allegedly prejudged the campaign and her insistence on acquiring classified documents were among the factors that Duterte considered.
“The Vice President talking with and seeking the advice of certain foreign institutions and personalities that have prejudged the campaign against illegal drugs as a violation of human rights, as well as a crime against humanity, did not sit well with the President.,” Panelo said.
“The VP’s actions are all documented [on] mainstream and social media. These missteps not only derailed President Duterte’s well-meaning intent for the Vice President to be part of the administration but registered red signs that could not be ignored,” he added.
Panelo added that the Vice President’s insistence on acquiring the classified documents of the drug campaign is “a revelation of which could imperil the welfare of the Filipino people and the security of the state.”
He added that the President still trusts her as drug czar even though the former has “reservations” about trusting the Vice President with state secrets.
“Being a member of the Cabinet gives Ms. Robredo unlimited access to sensitive state matters which if transmitted by her whether purposely or otherwise could result in adverse consequences, especially since the VP has the tendency to be generous with acquired information and knowledge to others whose predilection may not be in the best interest of the country,” Panelo said.
In an interview, Duterte himself stated that Robredo’s appointment as drug czar is not of a Cabinet rank.
“She [Robredo] is not a member of the Cabinet. I have not appointed her as a Cabinet member. You know why? Early on she was talking right and left that she would talk to this and talk to that. In the Cabinet meeting, we talk about what’s happening eh kung marinig nya yan dyan tapos dadaldal nya sa labas, so di ko….,” Duterte said in an interview.