Duterte has 'reservations' on sharing gov’t secrets with Robredo: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2019 04:57 PM | Updated as of Nov 25 2019 10:27 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo. File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has reservations on sharing classified state matters with Vice President Leni Robredo even as he expects the latter to help solve the country’s illegal drug problem, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Duterte’s reservations cost Robredo a seat in his Cabinet after the President viewed her supposed “missteps” in the narcotics crackdown as “red flags,” his spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“May reservation siya (Duterte),” Panelo said.

The President however still trusts that Robredo can fulfill her role as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Panelo said, as he noted that the administration welcomes all ideas that would help solve the narcotics problems.

“Meron pa rin. [We’re] still waiting for her program, how will she perform her job,” Panelo said.

“It has nothing to do with trust. It has something to do with the effectivity of your ideas. If you can help me, I will get you,” he added.

Malacañang earlier said that Robredo would be given a “Cabinet portfolio” should she accept the drug czar post. 

But Panelo on Tuesday explained that Robredo supposedly committed “missteps” in her first 2 weeks as co-chair of ICAD which made the President reconsider including her in the Cabinet.

Duterte viewed as “missteps” Robredo’s consultations with organizations and people critical of the government’s war on drugs; her request for unlimited access to information on the drug war; and her “tendency” to share confidential information, Panelo said.

“These missteps not only derailed [President Duterte’s] well-meaning intent for the vice president to be part of the administration but registered red signs that could not be ignored,” Panelo said.

Robredo had assured the President that she would not leak any confidential government information if given access.

"'Yung assurance naman lahat na sensitive information hindi idi-disclose,” she told reporters on Monday.

(There’s an assurance that all sensitive information won’t be disclosed.)