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Challenge accepted! Robredo takes on new job as co-chair of inter-agency body vs. drugs

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Defying the advice of her allies, Vice President Leni Robredo accepted Wednesday (November 6) her designation as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Reading a prepared statement, Robredo said the biggest consideration she had in accepting President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment was the chance to halt the alleged killing of innocents in the drug war.

“Kahit sabihin na nating ang alok na ito ay pamumulitika lamang, at hindi naman talaga ako susundin ng mga ahensya, at gagawin nila ang lahat para hindi ako magtagumpay, handa akong tiisin ang lahat ng ito. Dahil kung mayroon akong maililigtas na kahit isang inosenteng buhay, ang sinasabi ng prinsipyo at puso ko ay kailangan ko itong subukan,” she said.

Robredo said her acceptance of the post as ICAD co-chair, which has the rank of Cabinet Secretary, doesn’t mean she shares Duterte’s views on the anti-drug campaign.

“Alam ng Pangulo kung ano ang posisyon ko sa drug war: tutol ako sa pagpatay ng mga inosente, kontra ako sa pang-aabuso ng mga opisyal. Alam niya ang aking mga puna. Alam niya ang mga balak kong ayusin. Kaya kung iniisip niya na sa pagpayag na ito ay tatahimik ako, nagkakamali siya,” she said.

Duterte dared Robredo to oversee the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs after she called it a “failure.” Malacañang on Tuesday (November 5) issued a memorandum formalizing the Vice President’s designation as ICAD co-chair to show it is sincere in offering her a post to prove her mettle.

Robredo’s allies, including Senator Leila De Lima and former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, had warned her not to accept the offer, calling it a “trap.”

Hinting at the stormy relationship she will have with Duterte as she joins the Cabinet anew, Robredo said: “Tinatanong nila ako kung handa ba ako para sa trabahong ito. Ang tanong ko: handa ba kayo para sa akin?”