Leni Robredo declines appearance at Senate probe on PunoBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – The widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo has declined an invitation to appear before a Senate hearing on Friday for fear that it might only cause “too much pain and stress” to her family.
“In as much as Atty. Gerona-Robredo would like to honor your invitation to the said committee hearing, it is with deep regret that the former begs to decline the invitation,” lawyer Domnina Rances said in her letter to Senator Miriam Defensor, chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments dated September 10, 2012.
Rances was referring to lawyer Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo or more known as ‘Leni,” the wife of Robredo.
“As your honor may know, Atty. Gerona-Robredo is staying in Naga City with her youngest child. Even as she grieves for the passing of Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, her hands are currently full in ensuring that her children are coping with the unfortunate event and she is afraid that such a very public event concerning her husband’s work might case too much pain and stress for her family,” the letter added.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has called for an investigation of now resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, including the circumstances behind his appointment.
She said Puno had the “unique, if not anomalous” authority to control the PNP during the incumbency of Robredo.
Santiago said she would like to “unmask” the influential person or group that exerted “severe pressure” on the President to appoint Puno as undersecretary and give him powers over the PNP that, according to her, were reserved only for the department secretary.
Puno found himself in the limelight after he allegedly tried to obtain certain documents from the office and house in Quezon City of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo , who died in a plane crash last August 18.
Puno is said to be under investigation by Robredo for his purported involvement in the alleged overpriced purchase of service pistols for the Philippine National Police.
Puno, who oversees the PNP, supposedly fast-tracked the PNP firearms contract before the new DILG secretary Roxas could assume office, according to a losing bidder.