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MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo gave assurances that state secrets will not be leaked to foreign investigators, as President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to fire her if she aids probes against the administration’s drug war.
“‘Yung assurance naman, lahat ng sensitive information hindi idi-disclose. (They are assured that all sensitive information will not be disclosed),” said Robredo, as she spoke briefly to reporters after the Office of the Vice President’s Senate budget hearing on Monday, November 18.
In an interview with GMA News on Saturday, November 16, Duterte said that Robredo cannot share “classified matters” or else she would be stripped of her anti-drug czar post.
Malacañang later clarified Duterte’s statements as saying that “disclosing classified information of the Philippine Government to foreign individuals and entities will cause the removal of the Vice President from her current post.”
Lawmakers had slammed the Duterte administration for restricting Robredo, with Senator Leila de Lima saying that Duterte’s aversion to sharing information points to obscuring legitimate investigations. (READ: Evading probes? The many times Duterte admin didn’t give drug war documents)
Other agencies also had reservations to share drug intel with the Vice President. Robredo’s co-chair, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino, said there was also no need for the Vice President to obtain a list of high value targets, saying it is not the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs’ mandate. – Rappler.com