'Huwag mo kaming iiwan': VP Leni says PDEA chief urged her to stay as drug war co-chair

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2019 04:39 PM

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino asked her to stay as co-chair of government's anti-narcotics campaign days before her sacking.

Robredo made the remark after Aquino said he was better off leading the drug war on his own.

"Sinabi niya na 'Ma’am, huwag mo kaming iiwan. Huwag mo kaming iiwan kasi maraming nangyayari noong nandiyan ka na.' Sabi niya, 'Kasi ako, iyong sa akin, mahirap pasundin iyong mga ahensya kasi Usec lang ako'," Robredo said in her weekly radio program.

"Iyong sinasabi niya na walang significant na tulong, parang preferred niya yata na siya lang."

The Vice President and Aquino shared the leadership of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) for nearly 3 weeks before President Rodrigo Duterte fired Robredo earlier this month.

Robredo said she assured Aquino that she would not abandon the ICAD.

"Sabi ko, 'Hindi ko kayo iiwan, Usec, puwera na lang kung tanggalin ako. Hindi ako magre-resign, iyon iyong ma-a-assure ko sa iyo, puwera na lang kung tanggalin ako.' Iyon nga, two days after, tinanggal ako," she said.
 
"Pero iyong point ko lang... bakit kailangang iba iyong sinasabi mo sa harap ko at iba iyong sinasabi mo sa media? Pero sinabi niya sa harap ko hindi lang ako iyong nakarinig; maraming nakarinig."

The Vice President added that she was disappointed in Aquino.

"Pero ako, ako lang medyo natatawa ako na disappointed. Disappointed ako kasi PMA-er itong si Director General Aquino," she said.

"Inaasahan mo kapag PMA-er, officer and gentleman. Pero ilang beses nang ang sinasabi sa harap ko, iba ang sinasabi sa media."

Prior to Robredo accepting the drug war post, Aquino had said she had "a lot of catching up to do" and that this may "somehow derail" PDEA's operations.

Following Robredo's acceptance of the post, Aquino said he would support the Vice President "100 percent."