ARE they ready for me? Vice President Leni Robredo posed the question to Cabinet members after announcing on Wednesday that she has accepted—after days of publicly expressing extreme caution—the offer of President Duterte to become his anti-illegal drugs czar.
Robredo said she plans to prioritize ending the deaths of drug suspects linked to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, as well as holding accountable to people responsible for such acts.
Robredo was widely believed poised to reject the post, which Malacañang formalized on Tuesday by releasing the President’s order with the official designation of cochairman of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (Icad), as most of her advisers and party-mates had warned that the Palace may be setting her up for failure.
On Wednesday morning, however, Robredo, looking determined, said she decided to accept the post despite contrary advice, and expressed hope, her entry may signal serious reforms in the conduct of the bloody drug war, which she had said she supported in principle while objecting to the thrusts and methods.
In a separate press conference, Presidential SpokesmanSalvador S. Panelo welcomed Robredro’s decision to rejoin the Cabinet and reiterated that the support will be provided by Malacanang.
Other senators “surprised” by Robredo’s “change of heart” since she had publicly indicated her reluctance to take on the job. Lacson, a former National Police chief, said he is “ready and willing to humbly share whatever modest law enforcement experience I gained in my previous life.”
Nevertheless, despite the observation of many that she is being set up to fail, the Vice President’s decision is extremely praiseworthy. It demonstrates her eagerness to lead and sacrifice for the people and provide superior solutions to the country’s drug problem.”
We agree to the comment of Senator Hontiveros, if Robredo “is provided all the necessary powers and resources, and given the full liberty to implement a public health approach coupled with a rights-based law enforcement strategy, she can do a much better job in responding to the drug problem.
All eyes now are focusing on the Bicolano’s pride on how she can finally end the rampant menace in this country. However, let us pray for her success and we must not put the cart ahead of the horse.