MANILA—Sen. Leila de Lima on Saturday said President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to Vice President Leni Robredo to lead the government’s narcotics crackdown is just a "silly trap."
"The real reason why Duterte is even floating this idea of offering VP Robredo that post is because he wants to shame her and all other critics of his flawed drug war, and create the narrative of putting all the blame of his failures to someone else, instead of admitting that he lied about winning the drug war, despite killing thousands of people," De Lima said in a statement.
Duterte had said he was challenging Robredo to be the administration's so-called drug czar for 6 months after the Vice President said Duterte should stop his "failed" drug war.
"I will surrender my powers to enforce the law to the vice president. Ibigay ko sa kanya mga 6 months," Duterte said in a speech at Malacañang.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Vice President would be given a cabinet secretary portfolio and would be in charge of all agencies involved in the implementation of anti-illegal drug laws under her command, should she take Duterte's offer.
De Lima, part of Robredo's opposition Liberal Party, said Duterte and Panelo knew the drug czar post wouldn’t be effective "winning his drug war brand."
"If it can, why didn’t he create such a post on his first days as President? Why create one now for VP Robredo?" De Lima said, saying the proposal is mere bait.
"I compare it with the silly traps that Tom lays down for Jerry as he hides around the corner, hoping that Jerry would be dumb enough to jump on such an obvious ploy that any 3-year-old can figure out."
Robredo had called on Duterte to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs which she said was “obviously, not working.”
She later clarified that she meant to urge administration leaders to "step back and assess" the narcotics crackdown.