‘Just help,’ Cayetano told after criticizing Robredo’s first few days with ICAD

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‘Just help,’ Cayetano told after criticizing Robredo’s first few days with ICAD

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) – November 11, 2019 – 5:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) should refrain from criticizing Vice President Leni Robredo’s work as co-chair of a multi-agency panel implementing the campaign against illegal drugs and just help instead.

The vice president’s camp stressed this Monday in response to Cayetano’s comment that Robredo has been “all talk” since her appointment as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs.

Robredo, who defeated Cayetano in the 2016 national elections, called for a revamp in the anti-drugs campaign and vow to end “senseless” killings when she accepted the post last week.

This did not sit well with Cayetano, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, who said in a CNN Philippines interview earlier Monday that Robredo started “on the wrong mouth” as ICAD co-chair.

Robredo only started last week

Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson and legal counsel, said that the vice president has only begun doing the task given by the chief executive.

“Kung di magawang tumulong ni Speaker Cayetano sa ginagawang trabaho ni vice president, kahit man lang umiwas muna siya sa paninira,” Gutierrez said.

(If he can’t help the vice president do her job, he could at least stop criticizing)

Gutierrez said the whole government must unite in the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Kung ganito pa lang mag-away-away na tayo, ang mga drug lords lang ang matutuwa,” he said.

(If we are already bickering at this early stage, only the drug lords will be pleased.)

Duterte designated Robredo as co-chair of ICAD over her criticism of the “war on drugs,” which she said needs to be reassessed and revamped.

The president’s allies initially hit Robredo for criticizing the drug war and then urged her to take on Duterte’s challenge for her to lead the campaign when she hesitated to comment, saying she was not sure if it was a serious offer.

She eventually accepted the offer.

READ: Reuters says Robredo’s criticism of drug war ‘fairly and accurately’ reported

Drilon: Cayetano comments uncalled for

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also said the comments of the House speaker are “totally uncalled for.”

“The gravity of this issue on illegal drug calls for everyone to set aside politics. In the remaining two and a half years of the administration, we should all work together to solve this problem,” Drilon said.

He added: “Malacañang has vowed full support for the vice president in order to fulfil this enormous task. We expect the allies of this administration to do no less.”

At least 6,847 drug personalities have been slain in anti-narcotics operations since Duterte assumed office in mid-2016, according to government figures.

But the figure is significantly lower than the estimates of human rights watchdogs of as many as 27,000 killed.