President Duterte Clarifies VP Robredo’s Role as ICAD Co-chair
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a press conference at the Malacañan Palace on November 19, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday said Vice President Leni Robredo would remain as Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chair but would have limited access to classified information in the fight against the proliferation of illegal narcotics.
“Need to know lang siya. If she asks something, then you give her…you give her half of it. The other half, if it’s a classified information, there is no need for her to know,” President Duterte said during a press conference in Malacañang.
President Duterte said he can’t give Robredo a Cabinet position because she belongs to the opposition and may jeopardize government interest if she is given access to sensitive information.
The information is state secrets, the President said, which include everything from sensitive matters with the Philippines’ relations with other countries like China and the United States.
“I am not keeping her. She is there. I appointed her. She is working. As a matter of fact, she’s been issuing statements every day,” he said.
“Sinabi ko lang, I am just saying the parameters. But she is there. I do not have to fire her. She is there. She is working.”
The Vice President should understand that her role is to give direction and guidance and to instruct law enforcement agencies to make the fight against illegal drugs more transparent to the public, according to the President.
The President expressed his displeasure over Robredo’s actions, adding that after her appointment, she began talking with the Human Rights Commission, the United Nations, and with the Europeans.
“Kung ganun sabi ko, I cannot appoint her as a Cabinet member. If that is the way her mouth behaves, there can never be a position for her,” he said.
“Kasi kung Cabinet member sana siya you know upon the authority because she would be an alter ego of me.”