The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has slammed the call of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to have the National Bureau of Investigate (NBI) probe her for helping address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, said in a statement Thursday (April 2) that the call of PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna is “so ridiculous, so inappropriate, so out of touch, that I had to verify if it was really true.”
Gutierrez said Robredo has been focused on helping frontliners and ordinary Filipinos cope with the COVID-19 crisis since the number of cases in the country rose last month.
“She has done all this without requesting additional public funds or seeking expanded powers. She did this because she saw a need, and she took action to meet it. She did this because it was the right and responsible thing to do. And now, unbelievably, the PACC wants to ‘investigate’ her for it. And for what reason? Because she was “competing” with other agencies,” he said.
Luna accused Robredo of “competing” with government agencies in responding to COVID-19 crisis by launching her own initiatives, such as providing transportation and protective gear to health workers. He said the Vice President’s efforts may be in violation of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and the Solicitation Permit Law.
Gutierrez said those who see Robredo’s efforts as competition “has absolutely no understanding of the gravity of the crisis we are all facing.”
“[I]s the largest crisis the world has faced since World War II really the best time to talk about investigations, particularly of people who have done nothing except do the best they can to help out? I leave it to the PACC, and the rest of national government leadership, to answer this question for themselves,” he said.