Robredo pokes fun at brief ICAD stint: ‘From drug czar to drug char’

Mara Cepeda

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Robredo pokes fun at brief ICAD stint: ‘From drug czar to drug char’
Vice President Leni Robredo describes her 18-day stint as co-chief of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs

Getting fired is never a pleasant experience, but Vice President Leni Robredo can now laugh about her brief controversial stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). 

The Vice President briefly addressed her experience as co-chief of the anti-drugs body in a video posted on her Facebook and YouTube accounts on Friday, December 27, when she answered 20 questions under 3 minutes to mark her 3 years in office. 

“Describe your ICAD stint in a sentence” was the last question thrown at Robredo, who mostly discussed her flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay in the video.

With a smug grin, the Vice President quipped, “From drug czar to drug char.


It was a big hit among her staff members in the background, who were heard laughing loudly at their boss’ self-deprecating hirit. “Char” is the shortened version of “charot” –     used in gay lingo to end a sentence meant as a joke.

Duterte’s initial offer for Robredo to be his drug czar indeed seemed to be a joke. Even Robredo’s allies thought it that way, as a way to get back at the Vice President for recommending a “tweak” in the President’s drug war, which had showed no gains 3 years on,based on the spike in the number of drug addicts in the country as cited by the Chief Executive himself .

Later, the joke seemed to be on Duterte after Robredo accepted the job to help bring about a deathless drug war – a decision that surprised both the Duterte administration and Robredo’s allies and supporters in the opposition. (READ: The gamble of Leni Robredo) 

And just when Robredo was just getting started, meeting left and right with experts to get advice and support for her rehabilitation-based campaign against illegal drugs, she got the boot. Duterte, whose relationship with the Vice President had been sour early in their terms, fired Robredo on November 24 saying he couldn’t trust her.

Robredo has since said she would release her findings and recommendations to improve the campaign against illegal drugs in the country, but has since deferred the announcement twice due to the 30th Southeast Asian Games and the recent earthquakes that rocked parts of Mindanao. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.