Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has questioned the Duterte administration’s refusal to share intelligence information with Vice President Leni Robredo about high value targets and related matters in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, said the government’s motive behind the limitations imposed on Robredo as a co-chairperson of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) appointed by Mr. Duterte himself is suspicious.
“We see a lot of duplicity here. What vicious political game is Duterte and his men playing this time?” she wrote in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 646.
“Why the hesitance to share information as to high-value drug lords and related matters with VP Leni? May tinatago ba at natatakot sila mahalungkat ito? Why impose conditions and limitations on her power as ICAD co-chair?” she added.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Aaron Aquino, who shares the ICAD co-chair post to Robredo, recently earned flak after he refused to provide the Vice President with the list of high value targets and other important documents related to the government’s drug war which she has asked.
In requesting for more information about the drug war, Robredo assured the law enforcement cluster of the ICAD that she will not use drug war records “to ghosthunt,” but use them to know “where to start, what is the baseline” in her fight against illegal drugs.
Robredo reportedly pointed out that seeing the full picture of what happened in the drug war in the past three years would prevent a repeat of the problems hounding the previous implementation of the anti-narcotics campaign.
Moreover, Duterte threatened to strip Robredo of her anti-drug czar post should the Vice President disclose “classified information of the Philippine Government to foreign individuals and entities.”
“VP Leni is intelligent and trustworthy enough, a deeply conscientious public servant who knows what or may not be disclosed to the public,” De Lima pointed out.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the government’s war on drugs, said Mr. Duterte and his allies’ unwillingness to cooperate and work with Robredo in solving the country’s drug problem only proves that they want the Vice President to fail.
“What’s emerging as obvious from Duterte’s threat to fire her and the irreverently tasteless remarks we recently heard from his top honchos – Bong Go, Bato Dela Rosa and Alan Peter Cayetano – is that they do not want VP Leni to succeed. They’re simply showing their true colors. Shame!” she said. (30)