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Robredo should call Duterte’s bluff

04:02 AM November 05, 2019

In the report, “De Lima: ‘Drug czar’ offer ploy to shame VP” (11/3/19), detained Sen. Leila de Lima warned Vice President Leni Robredo that accepting the job President Duterte has offered her to put the kibosh on the drug menace will only put her to shame, as all odds are being stacked against her.

We disagree. The Vice President should call the President’s bluff to make her “the anti-illegal drugs czar, with all offices, bureaus, agencies or government instrumentalities involved in the enforcement of the law on prohibited drugs placed under her command and supervision with a Cabinet secretary portfolio, to ensure her effectiveness in combating the drug menace,” as presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has put it.

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Our reasons are:

1) It would be a great opportunity for her to prove that she’s no wallflower, but one ready, willing and able to use real power. If by some miracle she succeeds in some big or small measure, she will be a shoo-in for the presidency
in 2022.

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2) With full authority to fire and hire government officials concerned, she can get rid of the rotten eggs that have made enforcement of the law on illegal drugs a farce. The government bureaucracy is not entirely that corrupt and bereft of people with a conscience to do the right thing.

3) And even if she fails after trying in earnest, the electorate might just opt to give her six years at the helm to carry on the fight, realizing how difficult the battle really is.

4) But if she slinks away from the challenge, people will wonder what kind of stuff she’s really made of. She can say goodbye to any presidential bid, thus paving the way for Bongbong Marcos to strut in.

All these, of course, presuppose that Panelo was not, as seems to be his wont, just talking tommyrot.

STEPHEN L. MONSANTO,
[email protected]

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TAGS: drug czar ooffer, drug war, Inquirer letters, leni robredo, Rodrigo Duterte, Stephen L. Monsanto
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