President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Leni Robredo from her post as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). This was confirmed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.
According to Panelo that Robredo wasted an opportunity and used the post “as a platform to attack the methods” undertaken by the Duterte administration. Which is entirely inaccurate since just days ago Duterte had apologized to Robredo for believing in a “fake news” that she had invited UN probers to look into his brutal war on drugs. It seems that Panelo had been consuming too much fake-news and have become willing amplifiers of fake news propaganda from social-media pages and or trolls loyal to the regime.
Also, last November 14, when asked about Robredo’s meeting with UN and US officials, Panelo said he agreed with Robredo’s decision to meet with US officials and representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in relation to the fight against drugs.
Robredo’s focus and resolve in finding out the bigtime druglords in the country seems to have spooked Malacañang that shortly after the Robredo privately requested for the HVT list to PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino, he then appeared to the media publicly declining Robredo’s offer. However, this was poorly received by many of Duterte’s allies and supporters with many even blaming Robredo of possibly publicizing the said list which may compromise our national security when in fact the request were funneled through proper channels and it was only the PDEA Chief who bared it to the media.
You may also even notice that since Robredo were offered to accept an anti-drug war position up to the time where she shockingly accepted the offer. There’s a sudden uptick of misinformation, black-propaganda and troll-warfare being used to divide and keep many of the people in the dark, completely unaware of the facts surrounding these events will form up misguided political convictions and many will most likely influence others who do not have access to the social-media and the Internet.
Many actually didn’t know that even during Robredo’s first few days as Anti-Drug czar. More than P6.8 million and P5.7 million worth of drugs has been seized by the authorities without killing any drug suspect or indiscriminate gun-fire which resulted in fatalities or better known to as ”collateral damage”
It can also be noted that not only did she worked on improving law-enforcement efforts in fighting drugs. She also visited drug-rehab facitilities and opened taks with non-government organizations as well as the Catholic clergy in helping her achieve ”blood-less yet relentless” fight to end drug abuse and illegal drug trade before Duterte’s term ends.
Robredo served with all her heart and with the most sincere intentions to serve her countrymen and of course help the Duterte administration, which has repeatedly admitted that the illegal drug-situation in the country is spiraling out of control and that they have failed miserably.
So of course, when an offer was given to Robredo to help the fight against illegal drugs her own way then she immediately accepted it. Many of her allies and supporters were pretty reluctant about this decision as this may simply be a ploy to humiliate her or even to compromise her safety. But she didn’t relent on these things and instead said that it’s better to accept the offer, put herself in harms way while saving innocent lives from Duterte’s Death Squads.
My initial thoughts about Robredo’s acceptance as ICAD Co-Chair were, in fact, pretty egregious at best, but I know that she can make a difference. Though many people dismiss her because she didn’t look tough or at least have the seemingly ”macho image” like the ‘Duterte’s’ and also speak like Duterte’s but she’s a cunning, dedicated and visionary leader who can learn through experience and has consequently been doing many things, despite having no cabinet position, lack of budget and or logistical support from the Duterte administration but yet she continued to press on and work tirelessly for the people. One good example of which is her flagship anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay who helped more than 36,046 individuals and 22,275 families, with almost P52.72 million worth of resources for rural development since 2017 through the support of private partners.
Leni out – Druglords wins
So despite Robredo well-meaning efforts to help Duterte win in his fight against drugs. She was then unceremoniously fired as if she’s up to something that might exacerbate or harm Duterte or his allies reputation. It seems that since from the start, Duterte himself and his allies were not keen on Robredo’s success but rather putting every road-blocks that they can to limit and contain her influence to access to relevant drug-war records or even the much coveted list of high-valued drug lords.
They say, though highly implausible that Robredo might break the lid and share this information to the same people in the drug-lords list. But this was highly unlikely because since Duterte assumed office. He has been routinely sharing confidential records of suspected drug-lords and shaming them on national TV in an effort to curb their influence. The list wasn’t even properly vetted out and many of those in the list have long been dead.
So in essence, it was Duterte, who is consistently sharing confidential information or so-called ”drug matrix” to the media, in fact, there have been some media outfits linked or included to his supposed drug list to dissuade them of their unbiased and truthful reporting of Duterte’s drug war.
With all optimistic expectations. Robredo is expected to win the fight against illegal drugs. And I’m pretty sure that with the help with International organizations and state actors with extensive intelligence data on International illegal-drug trade. Cutting off the head of the snake is the most important anti-drug strategy that will surely have an immediate domino effect that would see the immediate capitulation of many drugs-cartels in the country.
However, she’s now out. Duterte wants her out. She’s come this far and she’s getting closer in finding out the truth. Duterte was rattled and shook by Robredo’s thunderous approach in targeting big-time drug lords instead of small-time pushers. She was in the right track and highly probable that she’s coming in too fast that Duterte and his allies might get hit or blown to bits.
This is a very sad news, but all the more a minor victory to Robredo whom were taunted and laughed at were now breaking the myths of Duterte’s anti-drug stance, shattering it to pieces and smearing a cloud of doubt to Duterte’s real intentions.
If the illegal drug trade were really the most immediate threat that the government is purely focused on eradicating. Then firing Robredo would have been very counter-intuitive since Robredo wasn’t doing this to shame or attack Duterte. She was merely doing her job. And that for some hilariously ironic reason — Duterte seems to be in the way of Robredo’s job which took him by surprise. And in his desperate act of protecting his own interest and his drug-lord friends. He fired Robredo.
But the Filipino people are listening. I hope anytime soon. We can stand up against Duterte’s abuses and break the barriers of misinformation that continues to divide us.