Robredo accepts co-chairmanship of anti-drug body
Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday formally accepted President Rodrigo Duterte's designation of her as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drug or ICAD.
Robredo will be sharing position with Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.
In a press conference, Robredo said a lot of her colleagues and supporters told her to not accept Duterte's offer, calling it a "trap".
She confirmed receiving the designation letter Tuesday.
"A lot of people expressed worry that the offer may not be sincere, that this is a trap just to ruin and embarass me," Robredo said.
"A lot of people advised me to not accept it because they just want to pass the responsibility to me on the failures of drug war," she added.
Robredo said some told her the Duterte administration just wants to look for more people to be blamed in the war against drugs.
Robredo said it is Duterte who offered the position and she only accepted it in the hopes of ending killings of innocent people.
"But in the end, the main consideration for me is simple: if this is the chance to stop the killing of innocent people and make those responsible, liable, I will carry it," she said.
Robredo said she is ready to endure if government agencies will not follow her and will do everything for her to fail.
"Since the start, what I want is to make the campaign against illegal drugs orderly. End the killings of innocent people. Make the abusive officials responsible, lik the ninja cops and those who let tons of shabu enter (the country). Give families of innocent people justice and voice. Run after big drug lords that really ruin the society, not only small pushers in the streets," she said.
"And even if we said this offer is politicking only, and the agencies will not follow me, and will do everything so that I will not succeed, I'm ready to endure everything. Because if I can save innocent lives, my principles and heart told me to give this a try," she said.
Robredo said Duterte knows her position in terms of drug war and her appoint as co-chair of ICAD will not stop her.
"He (Duterte) knows my criticisms. He knows what I want to change," she said.
"So if he thinks that my acceptance will silence me, he's wrong," she added.
In ending her speech, Robredo asked the administration if they are ready for her.
"This is not a game. When life is a stake, it's serious. They are asking me if I'm ready for this job. My question: are you ready for me?" Robredo asked.
"Mr. President, there are two and half years left under your administration. It's not yet too late," she added.
After her press conference, law enforcement agencies reiterated their support to Robredo.
Aquino said he is just waiting for Robredo's call.
"We'll just wait for her call maybe she will asked for a briefing on the accomplishment of ICAD and what is ICAD all about," Aquino said.
"So if she also intends to see other ICAD members then I will call for a meeting (so) that the vice president could meet anyone," he added.
Aquino said they are ready to work with the new ICAD co-chairperson.
In a press briefing earlier, Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said they are ready to give their utmost courtesy, full cooperation and support to Robredo.
"She will be an inspiration for our campaign against illegal drug will be successful and we will achieve the drug-free Philippines by 2022," Banac said.
Duterte offered Robredo to be drug czar for six months after she called the government's campaign a failure.
But according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Robredo will have the position until the end of her term. Ella Dionisio/DMS