Several celebrities and other well-known personalities have spoken candidly about their frustrations over President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to axe Vice President Leni Robredo from her post as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
In his Facebook post, Palanca award-winning writer and director Floy Quintos said Robredo “gave us a glimpse of a rational, humane option to the bloody war that many Filipinos have callously accepted as the ‘new normal’ in two weeks” that she went to work.
“Others have been given much more time and resources to prepare for their missions. Missions less important in the difficult task of rebuilding confidence in this administration. And they have botched it. Bigtime. So the VP has to go,” he said.
“How will they spin this now? She didn’t perform? She lacked a program? What? Please tell me something I will find even slightly believable. Or at least, amusing,” he added.
Quintos further noted that “no matter what the delusional spinmasters will say, NO ONE WILL BELIEVE THEM.”
Duterte fired Robredo as co-chair of the ICAD on Sunday, November 24, supposedly for lack of confidence triggered by her meetings with United States (US) and United Nations (UN) officials.
The President said she could not be trusted as she belonged to the political opposition, sidestepping the fact that she is the leader of the Liberal Party (LP) when she was appointed.
Duterte also threatened to fire her if she will reveal “state secrets” and aid foreign investigations into his bloody anti-drug campaign.
The President has frequently slammed foreign officials who have criticized his war on drugs.
Known to be a vocal critic of the Duterte administration, actress Agot Isidro quipped that Robredo was fired because she’s doing fine and the administration is not used to performing well.
Singer Jim Paredes said Robredo was sacked because the Duterte administration “feared her” for what she can reveal.
“Remember how praning they were after she met with the US and UN intel ppl (people)? They probably are afraid she knows something they’ve been hiding,” Paredes noted.
They feared her . So they fired her. Remember how praning they were after she met with he US and UN intel ppl? They probably are afraid she knows something they’ve been hiding.
— Jim (@Jimparedes) November 24, 2019
Actor Bart Guingona tweeted that the public should forget the firing of Robredo “for now” since it was already expected and “be pissed” on the controversies hounding the SEA Games 2019.
“Ok. Forget the firing of VP Leni folks. FORGET IT (for now)! We sort of expected that from the start. (Diversion),” he said.
“BE PISSED OFF THAT THE BIGGEST BUDGET THE GOV HAS EVER PROPOSED IS PRODUCING THE MOST INCOMPETENT #SEAGames2019 ! Let’s be pissed off about THAT,” he added.
Ok. Forget the firing of VP Leni folks. FORGET IT (for now)! We sort of expected that from the start. (Diversion.) BE PISSED OFF THAT THE BIGGEST BUDGET THE GOV HAS EVER PROPOSED IS PRODUCING THE MOST INCOMPETENT #SEAGames2019 ! Let’s be pissed off about THAT!
— Bart Guingona (@guingonabart) November 24, 2019
Meanwhile, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said Duterte was clearly never sincere in appointing Robredo as co-chair of ICAD.
“Now, Duterte looks like a fool, pasinto-sinto, by firing her after only two weeks,” he said in his Facebook post.
“Since the beginning, he has been afraid that she would discover from local officials and US intelligence how he actually protects the biggest drug lords under his mafia syndicate or crime family,” he added.
Sison noted that it’s the Vice President’s duty “to condemn the bogus character of Duterte’s so-called war on drugs” and “expose the criminal operations of the Duterte drug empire.”
“There is ample proof that Duterte and his close relatives and agents are responsible for the smuggling of illegal drugs,” he said.
“More than ever it has become clear to the people that the problem of illegal drugs has worsened under the Duterte regime because it protects the drug lords as the suppliers and engages in mass murder at the expense of the poor people who are suspected of being drug users and pushers,” he added.
Sison also wrote that Robredo has received no cooperation from Duterte and ICAD “but attacks, disinformation and sabotage of her work as ICAD co-chair.”
In accepting the post last November 6, Robredo said her appointment in ICAD would give her a chance to stop the spate of killings in the government’s brutal war on drugs.
She said she would go after big-time drug lords, policemen reselling seized narcotics, and officials who smuggled tons of shabu into the country.
The Vice President earlier requested for a list of the top drug suspects in the country, but was denied by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director-general Aaron Aquino.
Aquino said having a list of high-value targets is beyond the vice president’s mandate.
In the past years, Robredo has repeatedly asked the Duterte administration to modify its anti-drug campaign, especially amid the spate of killings since it began, and focus on rehabilitation for recovering drug dependents, as well as on running after syndicates and personalities involved in the drug trade.
Data from the PDEA showed that the death count in the government’s war on drugs is at 5,104 since the President launched it in July 2016.