The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Thursday has urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice-President Leni Robredo for alleged illegal solicitations and other actions that undermine government efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, Atty. Manuelito Luna of the PACC said that the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) free shuttle service and dormitories for health workers and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to them could be in violation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Solicitation Permit Law and Related Issuances and the measures and protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emergent Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to arrest the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and for accounting.
“Being a part of the national government, Robredo is barred from competing with the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office of Civil Defense/NDRRMC, or undermining their efforts, and from soliciting donations, in cash or in-kind, from the taxpaying public, especially since funds have already been appropriated or set aside for relief assistance, disaster mitigation, rehabilitation, etc.,” Luna said in a statement.
However, Luna clarified with the Daily Tribune that the request is done in his personal and private capacity as a taxpayer and not as a public officer.
“I even filed a complaint against former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in my private and personal capacity,” Luna said.
Meanwhile, Vice Presidential spokesman Atty. Barry Gutierrez dubbed as “ridiculous, inappropriate and out of touch” the PACC’s call against the Vice President.
Gutierrez said since Day One of the Covid-19 crisis, Robredo has done all she can to help health workers, government institutions, and ordinary Filipinos overcome the challenges they have had to face due to the restrictions on travel, the shortages in supplies, and, of course, the ever-present threat of infection.