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Duterte on anti-drug czar: I cannot trust Robredo


President Rodrigo Duterte initially ordered the police to "obey" Inter-agency Council on Anti-Illegal Drugs co-chair Leni Robredo but eventually decided to keep her out of the Cabinet.

In a late night press conference, Duterte said he could not trust Robredo.

"I never said I was firing her. I said I would not appoint her as a Cabinet member," Duterte said.

"Kung Cabinet member siya and she looks into the records that are classified matters, China, whatever, kung hingiin niya yan, being a Cabinet member she would have access to everything," he added.

Her behavior and remarks after she was appointed anti-drug czar, Duterte added, also didn't inspire for her to be given a Cabinet post.

"To give more teeth to her power as long as there is security clearance from the military and the police, go ahead. Sabi ko sa pulis, 'You obey her'," Duterte said.

"Ang problema ko kay Robredo... Marami na siyang pinagsasabi. If that is the way her mouth behaves there can be no position for her," he added.

Duterte said he could not trust Robredo to be with him in Cabinet meetings.

"Ang problema dito, ganito. I cannot trust her not only because she is with the opposition. I do not trust her because I do not know her," Duterte said.

"Ngayon siya kung nandiyan, hindi ko man talaga siya kilala and the way she behaved right after I appointed her does not inspire --- it’s not inspiring," he added.

Duterte said he didn't know the people to whom Robredo was talking.

"Natakot tuloy ako baka pakitaan niya kasi she was questioning noon “ah ‘yung extrajudicial,” ganun na, kasali na ang pulitika. You know I’ll tell you what, election is noble. It is a practice of democracy that you elect leaders to guide the nation," Duterte said.

He went on to say that one of the biggest drug manufacturing apparatuses was in Bicol, Robredo's bailiwick region. 

Robredo has asked for a list of the high value targets in the campaign against drugs from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police.

PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said the agency would just brief her in a closed-door meeting. The PNP said it would follow PDEA's lead.

Duterte on Tuesday night said Robredo would only be given information "on a need-to-know basis." 

Robredo on Tuesday wondered aloud why Duterte appointed her to co-chair the ICAD if he and her fellow officials in the panel didn't trust her entirely.

Robredo, nonetheless, said that she would continue to do her duties as Duterte's supposed anti-drug czar even if the other officials in the ICAD would not share with her their lists of high value targets in the campaign against drugs.

"Kung wala silang tiwala, bakit nila ako dinesignate? Nung dinesignate nila ako, isa sa mga kailangan kong gawin ay masigurado na iyong nasa listahan ng high value targets ay mahuli," Robredo told reporters after a visit in Navotas, one the communities hardest hit by killings in police's anti-drug operations.

"Kung ipagkakait nila iyong impormasyon, nasa kanila iyon. Basta ako nung tinanggap ko ito, buong puso, gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko," she added.  —NB, GMA News