Panelo to Robredo: 'This is your moment'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 07 2019 09:50 AM | Updated as of Nov 07 2019 11:15 AM

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MANILA – Vice President’s new job as drug czar will give her the chance to make the campaign against illegal drugs more effective, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday.

"This is an opportunity, you are given a job. You keep on saying it is a failure. If it's a failure then you must have some ideas in your mind to make it a success, so this is it," said Panelo on ANC's Headstart Thursday.

Robredo accepted her appointment as co-chair of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD) despite warnings of some allies. 

"I think as a drug czar she would be on top of the entire bureaucracy on illegal drugs campaign. What is her job? The law is very clear, you're supposed to enforce all laws in relation to illegal drugs. That is your job: enforcement," Panelo said.

Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte had already directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to invite Robredo to the palace.

"She would have to talk with the president. Dapat VP Leni should give us kung anong gusto niyang gawin para ma-appreciate namin," he said.

Robredo earlier said the government should consider a different metric to gauge the success of the drug war, not just the number of those who surrendered.

"Nasa kaniya 'yan. Ikaw ang boss. The President does not interfere or intrude in any of the departments. He'll give you blanket authority to run your department but you're accountable to me," he said.

Duterte, he said, has ordered all agencies to give the support that Robredo needs as the country's drug czar.

"We will not allow her to fail simply because it will be our own failure," Panelo said.

"I know it’s a difficult job. It’s just like walking in a tight rope. People may say this will make or break you but we believe in your capability," he said. 

"The President said so himself and don't prove us wrong in our impression of you that you can act, do it. This is your time, this is your moment, be in the moment," he said.