Robredo to help in COVID-19 response, with or without gov’t post — spox
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo will work and help fight the coronavirus pandemic in any way possible — with or without an official government position in the interagency task force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), her spokesperson said.
According to lawyer Barry Gutierrez, the exchanges between former senator Antonio Trillanes IV and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on the matter of Robredo’s appointment (or non-appointment) to the government should remain between them.
Trillanes said the government should give Robredo a permanent position at the IATF, the national government’s group tasked to oversee the COVID-19 response.
“That’s between them. VP Leni’s work to help our fellow Filipinos — to overcome poverty, combat the scourge of illegal drugs, or meet the challenges of COVID-19 — has never depended on holding any formal position in addition to the office she was elected to,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“She will serve in whatever capacity she is needed. But more importantly, she will continue to discharge her mandate to work for the welfare of all Filipinos regardless of what designation she is given, what resources are given to her, and what support she receives from the administration,” he added.
The call from Trillanes came after Roque supposedly said that Robredo should just propose solutions instead of criticizing government’s actions towards overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in quarantine facilities.
Robredo’s criticism was anchored on the death of Michelle Silvertino, the worker from Antipolo who wanted to return home to her children in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, but was unable to return home due to the lack of public transportation modes.
Before her death, Silvertino spent five days on a footbridge in Pasay, hoping for terminals to open again.
After Trillanes’ dare, Roque said that there is no need to appoint Robredo in a cabinet position while slamming the former senator for allegedly “sowing intrigue and division”.
While the pandemic has affected various facets of life in the country, Robredo mounted campaigns and donation drives geared towards frontliners, with the help of OVP partner-agencies.
OVP and private sector partners have donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), and offered free shuttle services, and temporary shelters for health workers, and dormitories for other workers in the frontline services.
Recently, Robredo launched another project to help students and teachers who may find it hard to participate in distance learning modes, by looking for used but functional laptops, and asking for creative workers who may help create educational materials.
The Vice President’s last position in President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration was the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, which she took on for just 18 days after she was fired from the post.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.