President Rodrigo Duterte said Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is not part of his Cabinet despite her designation as co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
“She is not a member of the Cabinet. I have not appointed her as a Cabinet member,” Duterte said in an interview aired on Monday on GMA’s 24 Oras.
Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo also confirmed that Robredo’s post was “not a Cabinet level” despite his previous statement that the vice president would be given a Cabinet-rank post if she accepts the President’s offer.
“The post she was appointed to is not a Cabinet level. The discretion to appoint her as a member of the Cabinet, in addition to her appointment as the anti-illegal drug czar lies with the President,” Panelo said in a text message.
Last month, Duterte appointed Robredo to co-head the government’s committee against illegal drug, a post that the Vice President has accepted.
Since then, Robredo had floated several ideas to address the country’s drug war, including the scrapping of “Oplan Tokhang,” as well as opening the campaign against illegal drugs to a United Nations’ probe. CATHERINE S. VALENTE