MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he would let Vice President Leni Robredo enforce the law in the country for 6 months so that the latter could try it.
Duterte said he would send a letter to Robredo through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to inform her of his decision.
"I will surrender my powers to enforce the law to the vice president. Ibigay ko sa kanya mga 6 months," he said in a speech at the Malacañang Palace.
(I'll give it her for around 6 months.)
"Siya ang magdala. Tingnan natin kung anong mangyari. Mas bright ka? Ikaw subukan mo," he added.
(Let's see if she can do it. She thinks she's brighter? She should try it.)
Duterte added that Robredo talks "nonsense" as he alleged that the vice president lacks knowledge of the law.
However, in an ambush interview Monday afternoon, Duterte clarified that he is not planning to give up his powers to Robredo, but instead wants to temporarily designate the Vice President as the country’s anti-drug czar so she can see for herself how hard it is to address the country’s illegal narcotics problem.
“I do not surrender anything. I said if she wants I can commission her to be the drug czar. Marami na siyang reklamo dun sa labas, o sige sabi nya you have to redirect, or whatever. Ngayon mas marunong ka man sa akin, I’ll hand to you full powers sa drugs. I’ll give you 6 months, tignan natin kung kaya mo,” Duterte told reporters.
“I am ready to concede to you powers that would cover all anti-drug activities by the government. Siya pa-anuhin ko. Clean slate para malaman nya kung gaano kadali mag-kontrol ng droga,” he added.
Robredo recently called on Duterte to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs which she said was “obviously, not working.”
On Monday, she clarified that she meant to urge administration leaders to "step back and assess" the narcotics crackdown. - with a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News