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Philippines’ Duterte says vice president is ‘colossal blunder’

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Vice President Leni Robredo, a key critic of his government’s crackdown on illegal drugs, on Tuesday, calling her a “colossal blunder.”

Duterte made the comments a day after Robredo said the country’s anti-drug campaign has been a “massive failure” in constricting the supply of narcotics in the country in the past three and a half years.

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“You know, for all of these years she has done nothing, she is a colossal blunder. Colossal blunder. Blunder,” Duterte told newsmen when asked about her.

The 74-year-old president also told Robredo to refrain from lecturing him about what should be done in the campaign.

“If ever she becomes president, then she can do the things she is suggesting. She does not lecture on me,” he said.

Duterte added that Robredo should not have won as vice president, saying it was really a mistake.

Robredo is an outspoken critic of the anti-drug war, which has left over 5,000 suspected drug users and pushers killed in police operations since 2016 when Duterte became president.

In November, Duterte appointed her as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), after she said in interviews that the crackdown has failed to stop the illicit trade.

However, 18 days later, Duterte fired her from the position, alleging that she “wasted” the opportunity and used her appointment “to attack the methods undertaken by this administration.”

On Monday, Robredo said that, since 2016, authorities have only seized an estimated 1 per cent of illegal drugs believed to be circulating in the country.


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