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Robredo: If Duterte doesn’t trust me to lead drug war, why was I appointed?

Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday wondered aloud why President Rodrigo Duterte appointed her co-chair the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs 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.

Duterte in late August appointed Robredo the co-chair of the ICAD supposedly with a Cabinet rank. 

Robredo sharply criticized the war on drugs which had been blamed for thousands of killings before Duterte said that she was putting the Vice President in charge of the campaign to see if she could do better.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday that Robredo lost her Cabinet rank after she met with foreign officials who had prejudged the war on drugs and because of an alleged generosity with state secrets.

The Palace official said Duterte still trusts Robredo as drug czar even as the chief executive already has “reservations” about trusting the Vice President with state secrets.

“Being a member of the Cabinet gives Ms. Robredo unlimited access to sensitive state matters which if transmitted by her whether purposely or otherwise could result in adverse consequences, especially since the VP has the tendency to be generous with acquired information and knowledge to others whose predilection may not be in the best interest of the country,” Panelo said.

Robredo indicated that officials' actions following her appointment to the ICAD leadership showed a lack of sincerity on having her on board in the war against drugs.

"From the start, there were questions on sincerity of the offer. They said it was sincere. Pero iyong sincerity, hindi iyan pinapakita sa salita, kundi sa gawa," Robredo said.

Robredo said that she accepted the appointment because it would enable her to save lives, bring justice to victims of the drug war and make accountable those who whimsically kill in the name of drug war. —NB, GMA News