MANILA, Philippines – Former Isabela governor and Kaya Natin Movement co-founder Grace Padaca urged the government to investigate the alleged attempt to access the condominium unit and offices of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Padaca said the incident calls for an explanation from the parties involved, particularly DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, who was tagged as among those who tried to enter Robredo’s condo unit along with several policemen.
“The matter is crying for an explanation, at the very least, and an investigation. If Usec. Puno was open to interviews and answering questions then it would have been cleared,” Padaca told ANC’s “Dateline Philippines” on Saturday.
Padaca said she was informed of the attempt to enter Robredo’s condo and offices around noon of August 19, a day after Robredo’s plane crashed off Masbate.
“So totoo lang, nalaman ko na [na may gustong pumasok sa condo niya at sa opisina niya] the day after the plane crash. Mayroong mga tao sa DILG na medyo concerned. Bakit daw parang nagmamadali silang pasukin ang mga opisina [ni Sec. Jesse],” she said.
However, Padaca noted that her sources did not say if Puno was part of the group.
“Walang na-mention na specific name, I just remember someone telling me na gusto nila pasukin ‘yung opisina ni Sec. Jesse,” she said.
Robredo was believed to have been investigating jueteng and an anomalous arms deal before his death.
Confidential documents and reports on these matters were kept inside Robredo’s condo.
A security logbook from Robredo’s condo showed that Puno, along with Supt. Oliver Tanseco, Sr. Supt. Joel Pagdilao and a certain Apollo Reuben Toganon, arrived at 10:30 a.m.
The group was not allowed access by Robredo’s househelp, who informed Robredo’s wife, Atty. Maria Leonor, of the incident.
In an interview with dzMM on Friday, Tanseco denied that what transpired on August 19 was an attempted raid.
He said his group was acting on President Aquino’s orders for a lockdown on Robredo’s condo and offices to secure the confidential documents.
Padaca, however, expressed doubts over Tanseco’s claims, saying her source seemed concerned of the attempt to enter the condo.
“The thing is, bakit concerned ‘yung kausap ko? Bakit parang kinakabahan sila na ‘Anong gagawin, bakit ganito’? Kung may utos sa Presidente, may confidence na OK na ito pero bakit ganoon, na may concern?” said Padaca.
Padaca said she did not bother telling other Kaya Natin members of the incident because, at that time, they were focused on the search and rescue of Robredo.
Robredo’s body was eventually found on August 21, 3 days after the crash.
Jueteng, arms deal
Padaca also urged the government to continue Robredo’s probe on jueteng and firearms deal.
“I don’t think it will be a question if we want a probe on that, for all of the things that Sec. Jesse stood for…” she said.
She also said newly-appointed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas should review the contract of the arms deal, which may implicate Puno.
A DILG investigation report on the weapons deal acquired by ABS-CBN News shows that it was received by Robedo on August 8, less than two weeks before the Masbate plane crash.
The document, which ABS-CBN sources say is among sensitive documents that were in Robredo's condo at the time of his death, links Puno to the allegedly anomalous firearms deal.