Robredo camp: Critics' allegations 'ridiculous'

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2017 11:00 PM

MANILA - The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said the allegations being hurled against her by critics are "ridiculous" and "made up."

"All these charges seem ridiculous and made up because they are so out of character to how the OVP has been run under the watch of VP Robredo," Atty. Barry Gutierrez, Robredo's legal adviser, told ANC.

Aside from allegedly dishonoring the country for her video message criticizing the government's war on drugs to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Atty. Bruce Rivera accused Robredo of misusing Pag-IBIG funds when she was chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

"There was no PAG-IBIG event as far as I know. She has gone to the United States several times after she assumed the office of the Vice President but none of these were funded by any housing agency, PAG-IBIG or otherwise. They were either official visits paid for from the funds of the Office of the Vice President or if they personal visits, they were paid for by her own account," Gutierrez said.

He also added that misusing of public funds is something Robredo will not do.

"So we've been very very careful, and we've been very very conscientious in actually making that distinction given her track record both as a member of the Congress and as a Vice President. She never actually made any attempt to make any improper use of government funds," Gutierrez added.

Gutierrez, likewise, denied allegations that Robredo withheld information in her Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN).

"The shares actually belong to the late secretary Jesse Robredo and as far as I know, they were actually declared in the SALN. Actually I was a bit confused when that was mentioned in the public statement made by this group of complainants considering that the SALN very clearly included that as one of the declarations of the vice president," he said, adding they have never received a request for a copy of Robredo's SALN from her critics.

Gutierrez said Rivera's camp is making a case without evidence.

"They are trying to create a case when clearly there is none. And they admitted as much in their press conference several weeks ago where they essentially begged the public to join them in some kind of crowdsourcing campaign to come up with issues that can be included in an impeachment complaint," he said.

"In other words, the decision to file an impeachment complaint came before the actual possession of any evidence, and now belatedly, we are seeing them try and drum up some of these supposed issues to support the impeachment complaint," Gutierrez added.

Gutierrez also said that it will be up to the House of Representatives to look at the impeachment complaint.

"I think that is our strongest card, as far as the House is concerned. At the end of the day, we trust that members of Congress will take a look at this complaint. See it for what it is, which is really just a desperate effort to smear the vice president, and vote to reject it and stop wasting the time of the Congress," he said.

"If there's difficulties in their part, I suppose that's another indication that they are having problems with their complaint," he added.

The impeachment complaint was filed on the same day Robredo paid an P8-million cash deposit as initial installment for her counter-protest to former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos' challenge to her May 2016 electoral victory.