Duterte fires VP from anti-drug post weeks after offering it

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has fired the vice president from a lead role in his anti-drug crackdown just weeks after she accepted the post and vowed to make a campaign that has left thousands of suspects dead less bloody.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo raised several reasons in a news conference Sunday night for Duterte’s decision to remove Vice President Leni Robredo from the chairmanship of a government anti-drug committee, including what he says was her failure to present any new anti-drug program more than two weeks after she accepted the post.

There was no immediate reaction from Robredo but one of her backers in the political opposition says Duterte’s offer to the vice president to join the fight against illegal drugs was an “insincere sham.”