MANILA (UPDATE) - Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said she will continue to fulfill her duties as co-chair of the country's anti-drug committee, whether she is included in the President's Cabinet or not.
This, after Malacañang backtracked on the rank supposedly given to Robredo in the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
"Hindi ko na problema kung di pa sila nagkakasundo sa role ko. Basta sa'kin, lahat na pwede kong gawin, gagawin ko," Robredo told reporters.
(It's not my problem if they haven't agreed on my role yet. For me, what I can do, I will do.)
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte is no longer inclined to appoint Robredo to his Cabinet after she sought advice from foreign institutions, such as the US government and United Nations, on the country's controversial drug war.
“These missteps not only derailed [President Duterte’s] well-meaning intent for the vice president to be part of the administration but registered red signs that could not be ignored,” Panelo said.
Robredo said she doesn't understand why her meetings with US and UN officials did not sit well with Duterte.
"Hindi ko naiintindihan kung bakit [sila] nababahala. Alam naman natin 'yun source ng droga is transnational. Hindi natin kaya i-constrict 'yun supply. Kaya napakahalaga 'yun partnership natin with other governments," she said.
(I don't understand why they are bothered. We know that drug sources are transnational. We can't constrict their supply. That's why our partnerships with other governments are important.)
Robredo also defended her need to gain access to classified information on high-value drug targets after her request was rejected by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
"Kung wala silang tiwala, bakit nila ako dinesignate? Kung pagkakait nila 'yun information, nasa sa kanila 'yun," she said.
(If they didn't trust me, why appoint me? It's on them if they will not share information with me.)
Robredo earlier accepted Duterte's appointment to co-chair ICAD after the President designated her to the post, in response to her criticisms on the country's "failed" drug war.