President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he had sacked Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairman of the government’s anti-drug body because he feared she would mess up.
“What I fear is she would mess up. That’s why I’m afraid,” Duterte told GMA 7’s Unang Hirit.
“The more she stays with the ICAD, the more that she would create issues and the more that the people will be like wondering, ‘What is the truth here?’
“I’m afraid because she does not know anything.”
Meanwhile, Robredo said Monday she will release her report about the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign “very soon.”
She said she was just waiting for the right time to make public her findings and recommendations during her brief stint as co-chairman of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs or ICAD.
“We were about to submit on Wednesday or Thursday last week because that was my third week on the job,” she said during her BISErbisyo LENI radio program.
Duterte fired Robredo on Nov. 24 as co-chairman of ICAD 18 days after she assumed the post, and after he insisted there could be no trust between them as they belonged to opposing political parties.
The President appointed her in October, a post she accepted on Nov. 6.
“You know what happened. She made an asshole of herself,” Duterte said.
“First, I appointed her. The next day, she went to the US Embassy. That’s the one thing that I don’t like. If you are a sovereign nation, you should not be like an ass-licking guy.”
Duterte earlier said he disliked Robredo and would not give her a Cabinet-rank post for committing “missteps,” such as talking with groups and individuals critical of his campaign against illegal drugs, calling her a “scatterbrain” with “kneejerk” impulses.
Robredo “made an asshole of herself” when she reached out to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Community-Based Drug Rehab Alliance, and US Embassy officials to discuss how to improve community-based rehabilitation centers, Duterte said.
During her short-lived stint in ICAD, Robredo also visited drug-infected barangays, asking for their cooperation to get rid of illegal drugs in their area.
Duterte also said he would restrict Robredo’s access to classified information on the drug menace, including the list of high-profile value targets since she could “jeopardize” state secrets.
Robredo, however, said she would disclose matters she had discovered. The President dared her to do so.
“Leni keeps on harping on so many things―that it has not succeeded. We cannot tell her why so I said, ‘Why don’t you just join us? Actually it’s an exasperation thing for me. I said, ‘You join us so you would know,” Duterte said.