Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison on Sunday castigated President Duterte for firing Vice-President Leni Robredo from the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs less than a month into the job.
In a statement, Sison said Duterte was clearly never sincere in appointing Robredo as ICAD co-chair. "Now, Duterte looks like a fool, pasinto-sinto, by firing her after only two weeks," he said.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte was merely "calling Robredo's dare" to fire her after the President said he does not trust the Vice-President even after the appointment.
He added Robredo was being removed from her post "in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party President, Senator Francis Pangilinan, to just fire the Vice President from her post."
Sison, however, claimed Duterte "has been afraid that she would discover from local officials and US intelligence how he actually protects the biggest drug lords under his mafia syndicate or crime family."
"It is her duty to condemn the bogus character of Duterte's so-called war on drugs. There is ample proof that Duterte and his close relatives and agents are responsible for the smuggling of illegal drugs," he said in a statement.
"More than ever it has become clear to the people that the problem of illegal drugs has worsened under the Duterte regime because it protects the drug lords as the suppliers and engages in mass murder at the expense of the poor people who are suspected of being drug users and pushers."
He added that Robredo has received no cooperation from Duterte and ICAD but "attacks, disinformation and sabotage of her work as ICAD co-chair."
Robredo earlier said she is accepting the post since it would give her a chance to stop the killing of innocent people in the war on drugs.
She said she would go after drug bigwigs, policemen who allegedly resold seized narcotics, and officials who smuggled tons of shabu into the country.
She earlier requested for a list of the top drug suspects in the country, but was denied by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director-general who said having a list of high-value targets is beyond the vice president's mandate.