Duterte fires PACC’s Luna for urging NBI to probe Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner Manuelito Luna for urging the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice President Leni Robredo for supposedly competing with or undermining the national government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a surprise late night public address Friday, Duterte said Robredo is only doing the right thing when she called for support from private sectors to provide assistance to COVID-19 frontliners.
“Tama ‘yan maghingi ka ng tulong sa kapwa mo tao. Ngayon ito naman, may tao ako na abogado sa PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna gusto niya ipaimbestiga si Leni kung bakit nag-solicit. Anak ka ng… Nung narinig ko, sabi ko fire him,” Duterte said.
(That is just right, asking help from your fellow men. Now here it is, I have someone who is a lawyer at the PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, who wants to place Leni under investigation for soliciting. You’re son of a… When I heard this, I told them to fire him.)
“As of this moment he’s no longer connected to the government,” he added.
In calling for an NBI investigation, Luna said Robredo’s actions “compete with,” or are “calculated to undermine” the national government’s efforts in this time of the public health emergency.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has so far raised at least P36 million for the procurement of PPEs for health workers. It also launched free shuttle service and free dormitories for health workers affected by the Luzon-wide quarantine.
However, another PACC commissioner, Greco Belgica, said that Luna’s statement is personal and does not reflect the anti-corruption body’s sentiment.
“It was a personal opinion and request made by one of the Commissioners of PACC that does not reflect the sentiments of the Commission,” Belgica said.
“This is not the time for politicking. We are not concerned with any personality. Our main concern is to make sure all the needy Filipinos get all the help they need the President promised. Our concern is to end this COVID-19 virus,” he added.
As of April 3, the health department said there are 3,018 persons positive for COVID-19 in the country, with a death toll reaching 136.
Edited by JPV
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