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Palace: Robredo’s ‘missteps’ led to Duterte’s change of mind

November 19, 2019 - Tuesday 6:11 PM by MDM

Article Banner Image Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

President Rodrigo Duterte changed his mind about appointing Vice President Leni Robredo to his Cabinet because the latter had taken “missteps” that derailed the President’s 
“well-meaning intent for the Vice President to be part of the administration.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said what did not “sit well” with the President was Robredo’s “talking with -- and seeking the advice of -- certain foreign institutions and personalities that have prejudged the campaign against illegal drugs as a violation of human rights, as well as a crime against humanity.”

Panelo had said on Monday that Robredo’s position as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was not a Cabinet post as he had earlier said.

His statement yesterday elaborated on the President’s change of mind.

“The VP's actions are all documented in mainstream and social media. These missteps not only derailed PRRD'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.

“Ms. Robredo's insistence on getting access to classified information, a revelation of which could imperil the welfare of the Filipino people and the security of the State, added to PRRD’s reconsideration of his earlier desire to appoint her in the Cabinet,” he added.

“Her requests for unrestricted data to help her fulfill her role is an admission that the earlier criticisms of the political opposition to which she belongs against the anti-drug operations have no factual basis,” Panelo said.

He said if appointed to the Cabinet, Robredo would have “unlimited access to sensitive State matters” which if she transmits to others “could result to adverse consequences.”

Panelo said this is especially important since Robredo “has the tendency to be generous with acquired information and knowledge to others whose predilection may not be in the best interest of the country.”

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