Vice President Leni Robredo has accepted the appointment of President Rodrigo Duterte to co-chair the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
While many from both sides of the political fence believe the designation is a sarcastic ploy, this can also be viewed rather objectively as a welcome sign towards political cooperation. The designation had some of the Vice President’s allies in the opposition like jailed Senator Leila De Lima and former Senator Antonio Trillanes saying it is a trap. Even Leni first frowned on the idea thinking that the President’s failure should not be her responsibility. In the first place, Leni said it was not her who promised to eradicate illegal drugs in six months.
The designation was also criticized by some for the mere fact that the post is co-chairmanship. Which means that essentially, the co-chair still receives orders from the superior. In this case, the chief executive who is the appointing authority.
But all that must be swept under the rug now. Leni has accepted the ‘challenge’ of being the country’s anti-drugs enforcer in co-chair capacity with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). In fact, she immediately declared: “are you ready for me?”
Putting things into perspective. The gesture by President Duterte must not be construed as sheer sarcasm and a silly trap. Everyone instead should appreciate the gesture which could mean offering a hand in cooperation and unity. By appointing Leni, President Duterte is in effect reaching out to his so-called spare tire to be one with him in the fight against illegal drugs–an enemy he must have ‘underestimated’ in 2016. With Leni on board, a different strategy is in the offing. Nothing can be said as of it yet but definitely, given that she is against the bloody war earlier waged by government in drug operations, she could offer a different gameplan. And that is, to be fair with her, worth watching for.
The thing is, Leni should also not take it against her that she was put in the position as if it was designed for her to be destined to fail. If at all, she should take that as a challenge.
Meantime, it is not fair for the supporters of the President to wish Leni to fail. Instead, all support must be given her. For if Leni fails, the government fails. If she fails, her appointing authority–President Duterte–also fails.
Perhaps there is something good that will come out of this that only the wisdom of President Duterte could fathom out.