Robredo says up to Duterte to deal with uncooperative anti-drug war agencies

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2019 01:22 PM | Updated as of Nov 17 2019 04:05 PM

MANILA -- Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday it was up to President Rodrigo Duterte to deal with uncooperative agencies under the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

Robredo, co-chair of ICAD, earlier sought a list of the top drug suspects in the country, which Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Aaron Aquino rejected.

On Sunday, Robredo said she made a private communication with Aquino requesting the list and called out the PDEA chief for taking his response to media instead of directly communicating with her. 

"Tingin ko wala naman sila tinatago, alam ko naman 'yung hindi dapat sabihin sa media, pero hindi natin idi-divulge 'yung makakasama sa kampanya (kontra droga). Kung tinatago natin lahat, paano natin mapapanagot 'yung may katiwalian? Nasa function ko rin 'yun," Robredo said in a radio interview.

(I don't think they're hiding anything. I know what to divulge to the media. If they're hiding everything, how are we going to hold those liable accountable? That's within my function.)

"'Pag hindi cooperative 'yung ahensya, hindi ko na 'yun kasalanan. Pero despite the limitations and attempts na harangan, gagawin ko trabaho na inatas sa'kin."

(If the agency is not cooperative, that's not my fault. Despite the limitations and attempts to hinder me, I will do my job.)

The PDEA chief, in a statement Saturday, said he does not have a copy of the list and only checks it from time to time with the intelligence service.

Aquino is wary that some unauthorized persons might gain access to classified information once provided to the VP. 

Malacañang said Duterte would remove Robredo as ICAD co-chair should she share the information with foreign entities.

PDEA has yet to give a full comment on Robredo’s remarks, but, later on, said Aquino is willing to present the high-value target list in a closed-door meeting with security clearance.

Robredo said a lot more needs to be addressed in terms of the flow and cooperation between ICAD member agencies.

“Wala na tayong time para magpaligsahan, 'yung mga willing mag-cooperate, dun tayo. Kung ayaw nila, wala tayo magagawa,” she said.

(We have no time for competition, we'll work with those willing to cooperate. If they don't want to, we can't do anything about it.)

The Vice President said she is also set to meet with international counterparts in the coming weeks.