MANILA Former president Benigno Noynoy" Aquino III should focus on the possible revival of the Mamasapano case rather than meddle with the Duterte administration's crackdown on illegal drugs, MalacaAang said on Thursday.
Aquino on Wednesday said he found it confusing why President Rodrigo Duterte decided to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) if he did not really trust her.
He (Aquino) is better off focusing on his case pending before the Sandiganbayan, as well as taking care of his health, than touching on a matter related to the dreaded drug menace that he never gave the attention and importance it deserves during his six-year presidency, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo recalled how it was during Aquino's term where the drug problem allegedly ballooned in magnitude due to his negligence.
In his previous speeches, Duterte has blamed Aquino for being remiss in his job to address the drug problem.
Duterte said his predecessor did not realize the gravity of the drug problem because he simply did not know the magnitude of the issue.
Last week, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) along with former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director, incumbent Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, and family of the slain Special Action Force (SAF) 44 commandos, trooped to the Ombudsman to revive Aquino's criminal case with a Motion to Reopen Investigation.
In the motion, the VACC called on Ombudsman Samuel Martires to pursue the homicide since they have new evidence supporting the filing of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides against Aquino and others.
'Trust is earned'
Meanwhile, Panelo said being an elected second-highest executive official of the government did not automatically make Robredo trustworthy.
Ms. Robredo must, however, understand that one's election to the Vice Presidency does not automatically clothe the occupant with trustworthiness. Trust is earned, Panelo said.
Panelo reiterated that Robredo's missteps particularly when she started meeting foreign institutions and personalities who have prejudged the drug war and seeking classified information did not earn Duterte's trust and confidence.
Trust comes into play only as regards the non-transmission of state secrets that imperils the safety of the Filipino people and the sovereignty of the country, he added.
He said Robredo's new task is a rare chance to help in the campaign against illegal drugs, instead of just criticizing the administration.
Panelo said being an anti-drug czar requires competence and creativity.
Robredo, he said, should not be bothered by Duterte's lack of trust in her with respect to the classified information because she should prioritize performing her duties as an anti-drug czar.
After all, she is tasked to help end the illegal drug trade in the country and not to get secret information of the government to share the same with her foreign and local peers, Panelo said.
Panelo said despite petty, divisive, and parochial politicians, Duterte's primary interest is to put an end to the illegal drug trade in the country.
He noted that it was a rarity to find leaders such as Duterte, to give the head of the opposition party a golden opportunity to oversee the drug war.
What is clear therefore is that PRRD has transcended politics and trust issues that long divided the nation, Panelo said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency