When Vice President (VP) Leni Robredo declined the offer of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) to be a Drug Czar, the pro-administration crowd thought they pinned down the opposition. In the latest statement, Malacañang said that Robredo should just keep her mouth shut as she is just afraid to prove her mettle and put her foot to where her mouth is.
Robredo retorted, however, that if Malacañang is really winning the war on drugs, why toss the ball to her?
“Kung walang failure, bakit ipapasa sa akin? ‘Di ba? Kasi ipapasa mo lang ang isang bagay kapag hindi mo na kayang gawin. Kung hindi— Kung successful kasi siya, hindi kailangang ipasa, kasi wala nang ipapasa, eh. Kasi nagawa mo na. Pero kung ipapasa mo sa iba, hindi ba admission iyon na ang dami pang kailangan gawin?” Robredo told reporters in Iloilo City.
The VP has a point. Passing the buck on the war on drugs is a blunder on the part of the administration. Not unless PRRD is joking again. But to make matters worse, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced on media that he texted Robredo about PRRD’s drug czar offer — an act unbecoming for a supposedly serious issue. Or, Malacañang is just really joking because if Robredo accepts, the VP might carve her way to the 2022 elections putting all the efforts of the Duterte camp down the drain?
Indeed, if Robredo accepts, she will become the most powerful official in the land taking control not only of the Philippine National Police (PNP) but also the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) which supervises the local government units, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Dangerous Drugs Board and even the Bureau of Customs owing it to the announcement that illegal drugs is imported from other countries. Note that the PNP and the DILG play crucial roles in the elections. This basically puts PRRD as a lameduck president.
Assuming that the full control of the aforementioned offices are not given to Robredo, then Malacañang will be put on a tight spot thus confirming actress Agot Isidro’s tweet. As Isidro puts it, “(I)n all honesty, do you think they will let her succeed?” In a sense, any lack of support, intentional or not, to the VP will be construed as the Malacañang’s way of hindering the efforts against combating illegal drugs.
Worse, the deadline of six months is too tight. So the lack of control over the important agencies and units is simply confirming what the opposition are talking about: That Malacañang never really intended to make Robredo succeed.
On the other hand, with Robredo at the helm of the war against illegal drugs and with full control, there is no reason why she won’t re-open the issues against PRRD’s son, Faeldon, and other names close to the president for their alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs. There is also a possibility that Robredo will take in Antonio Trillanes IV, the president’s number one critic to be at the frontline in the campaign. Will these not be enough of headaches to the President and his minions?
Worse, if Robredo succeeds, it is her and the opposition who will reap the rewards. Isn’t it that the generals who came at the near end of the battle are the ones who reap the reward?
But of course, Robredo declined the offer and that should give a sigh of relief to Malacañang. But with Panelo pounding the issue further is kicking the stool that keeps them from getting hanged.