PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo doubts any of the revelations that Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo will make on the government’s deadly war on drugs are real.
Mr. Panelo slammed the vice president because she had yet to divulge her so-called findings during her short stint as President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug czar.
He said Ms. Robredo was likely to make up her report, adding she should have come out with it by now.
The vice president also should have also acted against people she knew were involved in anomalies, Mr. Panelo said.
“It was her duty at the time she discovered that irregularity to reveal that to the public and prosecute the people behind it,” he said.
Mr. Duterte fired the opposition leader whom he put in charge of his deadly war on drugs late Sunday, days after her appointment. Mr. Panelo earlier said Ms. Robredo “had it coming,” citing her missteps including meeting with officials of the United States Embassy and United Nations.
Philippine police have said they have killed about 6,000 people in illegal drug raids, many of them resisting arrest. Some local nongovernmental organizations and the national Commission on Human Rights have placed the death toll at more than 27,000.
Ms. Robredo this month said she had agreed to head the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign, which majority of Filipinos support despite international criticism, if only to stop the killings. She accepted the post against the advice of many of her party mates, who said the appointment might be a trap.
The opposition leader has vowed to enforce the state’s anti-illegal drug campaign within the bounds of the law. She said she would treat the drug problem not only as a crime, but also as a health issue.
Police have said Ms. Robredo had not committed “missteps” while she was the drug czar, contradicting the presidential palace.
Ms. Robredo had said she would reveal what she had uncovered while head of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.
Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized Mr. Duterte for firing the vice president “on ludicrous grounds.” It said the president was never even remotely sincere, and that his appointment of Ms. Robredo was a “total sham.” — Gillian M. Cortez