Vice President Leni Robredo, the newly-appointed anti-drug czar, do not need to attend Cabinet meetings if the war on drugs is not on the agenda, Malacañang noted Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo quoted Duterte in an interview saying “I will invite her as long as it is about her drug operations. But if not, no need [to invite her].”
“The President told me that. She should be happy,” Panelo added.
“She should be happy because if you are a member of the Cabinet, you will be there until the wee hours listening and it’s not your turf,” the spox said.
Moreover, as discussed in Palace briefing, Panelo insisted that a member is not mandated to attend a meeting if their concern is not on the agenda.
“When we have a Cabinet meeting, we are invited by the Cabinet Secretary, and we are asked if we are going or not. In other words, it is optional for us to attend because if it’s not your topic there, you’ll have to stay there for the rest of the meeting until the wee hours of the morning,” he noted.
In addition, the spox shared that the president has not sent an invitation to Robredo to attend the Cabinet meeting.
Recently, Robredo faced the challenge to be co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD), following her remarks on the current administration’s bloody war.