MANILA - Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to Vice President Leni Robredo to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) looks like a ploy to prevent her from from criticizing the anti-drug war.
The proposal, which was based on Executive Order (EO) 15, a Malacañang order that established the creation of ICAD, seems like a trap, said Pangilinan.
"Epektibong stratehiya laban sa naglipanang illegal drugs ba ang tunay na layunin nitong EO o epektibong stratehiya para ipitin at patahimikin ang Bise Presidente na tumututol sa araw-araw na patayan ng mahihirap habang pinapalusot ang mga ninja cops, ninja sa Customs, at mga sindikato ng droga?" the senator said in a statement.
"Kataka-taka lang ang motibo ng Malacañang sa EO na ito. Malayo sa naunang pronouncement na itatalaga si VP bilang anti-drug czar. Bakit biglang co-chairman na lang?"
Duterte has designated Robredo to be his partner in his drive against illegal drugs.
In a letter dated October 31, 2019, Duterte, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, asked Robredo to lead the campaign against illegal narcotics.
This after Robredo had called on Duterte to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs which she said was “obviously, not working,” prompting Malacanang's challenge for her to lead the drug war.
She later clarified that she meant to urge administration leaders to "step back and assess" the narcotics crackdown.
Robredo has yet to comment on the proposal on Wednesday.
The two leaders had been at odds over policies, especially the government's war on drugs, since they assumed their posts in 2016.