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Duterte to Robredo: I'll give you my powers for 6 months, try solving problems


President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he is willing to cede his law enforcement powers to Vice President Leni Robredo for six months after she issued a fresh criticism of the administration’s deadly war on drugs.

Duterte said he will be sending a letter to Robredo for this purpose.

“I will surrender my powers to enforce the law. Ibigay ko sa vice president. Ibigay ko sa kanya mga six months,” Duterte told new government officials in Malacañang.

“Siya ang magdala. Tignan natin kung ano ang mangyari. Hindi ako makialam. Sige, gusto mo? Mas bright ka? Sige, ikaw. Subukan mo.”

Duterte later told reporters that he is not surrendering anything but said he would like to "commission" Robredo to be his "drug czar."

"I’m ready to give you, to concede to you powers that would cover all anti-drug activities by the government," he said.

"Anytime. Gusto niya ngayon, tawagan mo siya. I can talk to her tonight and I will order tomorrow everybody should follow her in the matter of a drug issue. Siya na."

Asked if he will ask Robredo to stop her criticism of the drug war should she decline the offer, the President said: "No, because this a democracy. Nobody but nobody can order anybody to shut up."

"Gusto ko lang malaman kung kaya niya. Marami kasing sinasalita i-redirect o anong pinagsasabi niya sa labas. Do it here. Six months," he added.

Under the Constitution, only the President has control and supervision over the police and military. The vice president is the president’s constitutional successor in case of case of the latter’s death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation.

Robredo drew criticism from Malacañang and Duterte’s supporters over her remarks that the drug war should be tweaked if not reassessed because it has allegedly failed to curb drug use.

Robredo has been at odds with Duterte over several issues, including the government's approach to the war on drugs, possible restoration of the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

She served as Duterte's housing chief for five months before parting ways with the administration in December 2016 after being barred by the President from attending Cabinet meetings. —JST, GMA News

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