Photo: Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo (wikipedia)
From the get go, many, especially from within her support base opined that Vice President Leni Robredo’s acceptance of the task to help lead the efforts against illegal drugs in the country was a trap. Many among them were critical of her move, coming, as it did, right after comments she gave to foreign news agency about the drug war, where she later claimed to be misquoted (the news outfit later denied misquoting her).
As she started warming up to her role, sources reveal that those she intended to work with could not really find her credible nor sincere. The ambivalence of her support base to rally behind her and the task at hand made it even worse.
This was exacerbated by the ill informed and frankly, amateurish move to consult the UN and the United States Embassy (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-drugs/philippines-duterte-to-vp-keep-state-secrets-or-lose-your-drugs-tsar-post-idUSKBN1XR084), among other institutions widely believed to be critical of the Philippine government’s handling of the drug problem. This weakened their opinion of her as a credible partner in the effort.
This made her and her support base look incompetent lacking the needed and expected political will to face the drug menace.
The anti drug position would have been an opportunity for her to show her capabilities and gain some political traction and credibility as opposition head, to lead an effort to bounce back from the devastating and embarrassing electoral loss last May 2019, and hopefully, raise her trust and popularity surveys, which fall below even that of former comedian Senate President Tito Sotto.
With her removal from the anti drug post, it is clear that Robredo fell into a trap inadvertently created by the disunity, and lack of political will within her own support base. By not avidly giving their support, they wasted an opportunity to show some leadership. This sinks their political ship further.