MANILA (UPDATE) - The call of an anti-corruption official to investigate Vice President Leni Robredo for supposedly competing with government's relief efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic was just his "personal opinion."
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Greco Belgica said this Thursday afternoon as he sought to clarify his colleague Manuelito Luna's earlier statement urging the National Bureau of Investigation to look into Robredo's fund drive and relief operations.
"It was a personal opinion and request made by one of the Commissioners of PACC that doest not reflect the sentiments of the Commission," Belgica said in a statement.
He said the agency was "thankful" to the Vice President and everyone who are helping frontliners and those in need.
"This is not the time for politicking. We are not concerned with any personality. Our main concern is to make sure all the needy Filipinos get all the help they need [as] the President promised. Our concern is to end this COVID19 virus."
Belgica urged everyone to help each other, and told others to do their part by staying inside their homes.
"Our concern is to save lives and rebuild our country and the lives of our people after all this ends," he said.
"Wala pong kulay, wala pong politika ngayon. Magkakasama po tayo bilang Pilipino sa labang ito. Mabuhay ang Pilpinas. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. We heal as one!"
(There is no color, no politics now. We are together as Filipinos in this fight. Long live the Philippines! Long live the Filipino! We heal as one!)
In a separate statement, PACC chairman Dante Jimenez blamed the media for allegedly misconstruing Luna's statement.
"It is unfortunate that the pronouncements of Commissioner Luna, being a PACC official, has been misconstrued by media as an official statement of the Commission, which has triggered public indignation as a result," Jimenez said, reiterating that Luna's statement is his personal opinion.
Robredo was among the first to provide free transportation to health workers following the month-long Luzon lockdown. She has also mobilized other forms of aid to reach those in most need.
In response to Luna's call, Robredo's office said it was "ridiculous and inappropriate."
"Anyone who insists that bringing much needed assistance to hospitals, health workers, and poor Filipinos is somehow a 'competition' has absolutely no understanding of the gravity of the crisis we are all facing," Robredo's spokesman Barry Gutierrez said.
As of Thursday, Robredo's office said it has delivered medical gear to over 100 hospitals, and local government units nationwide. She has also raised over P40 million from various donors for health workers and frontliners.