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‘Not a competition game’: Garbin blasts PACC’s Luna for politicizing Robredo relief drive

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House committee on justice vice chair Alfredo Garbin has called out Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna for apparently politicizing the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) relief drive in the coronavirus pandemic.

Garbin, representative of Ako Bicol Party-list said Luna’s recent pronouncement requesting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice President Leni Robredo for allegedly undermining the national government’s response in the COVID-19 crisis “smacks of bad faith and reeks of insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Filipinos, the doctors and nurses and other frontliners.”

“Politicking has no place in today’s situation, not when Filipinos are dying, not when Filipinos are sick and hungry,” said Garbin.

Robredo through private partners have provided shuttle service, dorm for health workers, and donations of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to hospitals and other medical facilities.

Garbin reminded Luna that “charity is not a competition nor a crime.”

“Hindi porke kalabang partido ay pipigilan mo tumulong. Hindi ito kompetensya bagkos bayanihan ito para sa ikabubuti nating lahat,” Garbin stressed.

“We heal as one nga diba? Walang pinipiling kulay, lahi, pagkatao o partido ang kalaban natin. Yan din dapat ang tindig natin. Wala din dapat tayong pinipili sa ating mga tinutulungan at sa mga tumutulong. Iisa ang layunin, iisa ang nasa puso,” he added.

Garbin stressed Luna should stay within the bounds of PACC’s mandate and “to do its part in helping the nation by going out of its way by securing, in whatever capacity, food for the People and PPEs for the frontliners.”

PACC through Commissioner Greco Belgica distance itself from Luna’s pronouncement, saying that it was just his “personal opinion.”

Garbin said if Lina wants to investigate Robredo, if she did something wrong, “do it after the pandemic.”

“Not now, every helping hand, every effort no matter how big or small is needed by the government and by the people,” said Garbin.

“Magtulungan na tayo, wag na muna yang mga ganyang bangayan at silipan. Hindi ito ang panahon upang hatiin ang ating bansa. Sa susunod na mga linggo dapat ay pagtibayin natin ang pagkakaisa ng ating bansa. Hindi ito nakakatulong sa ating bansa.”

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