Duterte to Robredo: Be drug czar for 6 months, see what happens

Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte | Malacañang photo by Ace Morandante

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, October 28, said that he would surrender his powers to enforce the law and hand it over to Vice President Leni Robredo for six months, following Robredo’s remark that his war against illegal drugs is “obviously, not working.”

According to the president, he would send a letter to Robredo through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“As a matter of fact, I’m sending a letter to her through Secretary Medialdea. I will surrender my powers to enforce the law, ibigay ko sa vice president, ibigay ko sa kanya ng 6 months (I will give it to the vice president, I’ll give it to her for 6 months),” Duterte said.

“Siya ang magdala, tingnan natin kung ano mangyari. Hindi ako makialam (She’ll take over, let’s see what happens. I won’t interfere),” he added.

Later that afternoon, Duterte clarified that he doesn’t actually want to surrender his powers to Robredo; instead, he wants to temporarily designate her as the Philippines’ anti-drug czar so she can find out for herself how hard it is to eradicate the country’s drug problem.

“I do not surrender anything. I said if she wants I can commission her to be the drug czar. Marami na siyang reklamo dun sa labas, o sige sabi nya you have to redirect, or whatever (She has many complaints, okay she said you have to redirect, or whatever). Ngayon mas marunong ka man sa akin (Now if you know better than me), I’ll hand to you full powers sa drugs. I’ll give you 6 months, tignan natin kung kaya mo (We’ll see if you can handle it),” he said.

“I am ready to concede to you powers that would cover all anti-drug activities by the government…Clean slate para malaman nya kung gaano kadali mag-kontrol ng droga (Clean slate so she knows how easy it is to control drugs),” Duterte added.

Make it three years

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, meanwhile, suggested that instead of just giving Robredo six months, Duterte should extend it to three years for the sake of fairness.

“Bakit naman 6 months lang? Gawin na nilang three years (Why only six months? They should make it three years),” he said in a Facebook post on Monday night.

“(Six) months? Eh sila nga 3 taon ng nakaupo wala pa rin nahuhuling drug lord o kinukulong na opisyal ng BOC (Bureau of Customs) sa tonetoneladang pinalusot  na shabu sa Customs (Only six months? In their 3 years in office, no drug lords have been caught or Custom officials jailed over the tons of shabu smuggled into the country),” Pangilinan added.

“Yung mga Ninja Cops na sangkot sa iligal na droga binigyan pa ng pinakamataas na pwesto sa PNP (Philippine National Police). Hindi naman patas ang usapan kapag 6 months lang. Dapat maging patas. Gawing 3 years para fair (Those ninja cops involved in illegal drugs are even given the highest position in the police force. It’s not fair if it will only be for six months. It should be fair. Make it three years to be fair),” he continued.

According to Pangilinan, the daily killings of poor Filipinos under the drug war would end once Robredo gets the power to enforce the law in the country.

“Wala (na) ang araw araw na patayan ng mahihirap nating mga kababayan habang mga ninja cops at sindikato ay binibigyan ng mataas na posisyon, pinalalaya dahil sa gcta (good conduct time allowance) o inaabswelto (There will no longer be daily killings involving the poor while errant policemen and drug lords are assigned to juicy posts and freed under the GCTA),” he said. 

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