Palace says no need to appoint Robredo in IATF; twits Trillanes for ‘sowing intrigue’
MANILA, Philippines — There’s no need to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo in the government task force against COVID-19 as she has been “helping in her own ways,” Malacañang said Friday as it slammed former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for “sowing intrigue and division” amid the health crisis.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Trillanes was only making an issue out of his recent statement that Robredo should just offer solutions instead of criticizing the government in its handling of the crisis.
“Let us not make an issue when there is none. My remarks that Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo could have offered solutions is simply a response to a specific question by the media,” Roque said in a statement.
“We reiterate this to the Vice President: If she could offer solutions on how to address those who earlier tested negative for COVID-19 in Metro Manila but tested positive once they reached their respective provinces, I would be more than willing to submit her proposed solutions to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF),” he added.
Earlier, Trillanes dared Malacañang to appoint Robredo in the IATF if it wants to really flatten the pandemic curve. He also scored Roque for turning a blind eye on the Vice President’s initiatives amid the crisis.
While he acknowledged Robredo’s contributions in the fight against COVID-19, Roque rejected Trillanes’ dare as he maintained that the former lawmaker was only twisting his statement to gain political traction.
“She [Robredo] is helping in her own ways and if her intentions are genuine, there is no need for her to be appointed or designated in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as suggested by the former Senator,” Roque said.
“We call on Mr. Trillanes not to twist my statement for the sake of political relevance and just do his share to alleviate the plight of our people amid this pandemic. It is only through our solidarity and cooperation can we heal and recover as one.”
Robredo, in partnership with the public sector, was able to raise millions of pesos in donations for COVID-19 frontliners.
Her office also provides personal protective equipment and medical supplies to hospitals nationwide. It even organized temporary dormitories for health workers amid the coronavirus lockdown.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself acknowledged Robredo’s initiatives amid the crisis.
The President previously offered Robredo the top post in the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs after she criticized his brutal drug war.
But her drug czar stint was only shortlived as Duterte fired her after 19 days.
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