'Outraged' minority senators condemn PACC official's call to probe Robredo's COVID-19 relief drive

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2020 05:27 PM

MANILA - The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) should "stop adding to the failures" of the Philippines in responding to the coronavirus crisis, minority senators said Thursday, hours after an agency official urged authorities to probe Vice President Leni Robredo's relief operations in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Senate minority bloc is "outraged" by with a PACC official's call for an investigation of Robredo for her COVID-19 aid operations as "no one has the monopoly of helping alleviate the sufferings of our people."

"When has helping people become a crime? Is it a crime to look for resources so that our health care workers are protected when they attend to the sick? Is it a crime to offer free shuttle vehicles so that our essential service providers in this unprecedented shutdown of business operations can get to work?" read the statement.

"Saving lives is not a contest but everyone’s business," said the minority senators' bloc that includes Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and senators Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.

"Puwede ba PACC tumulong na lang kayo? Huwag niyo na dagdagan ang kapalpakan. Hindi kayo nakakatulong. Magsiayos kayo," Pangilinan, Robredo's fellow Liberal Party stalwart, said in a separate tweet.

(PACC can you just help? Stop adding to the failures. You're not helping. Shape up.)

Hontiveros said that the PACC should not be envious of Robredo's "initiatives" in helping health workers and frontliners as these "complement the efforts of the national government."

"Hindi kompetisyon ang pagtulong. Hindi kailangan ng inggitan ngayon," she said.

(Helping is not a competition. Envy is something that we don't need now.)

Majority Sen. Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, twitted the PACC by saying in jest: "PACC’s COVID-19 motto: 'Lahat ng tutulong, ikukulong."

(All those who will help will be jailed.)

PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna had called on the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Robredo, saying her delivery of assistance "compete with" or are "calculated to undermine" the Duterte administration's efforts.

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica later clarified that Luna's sentiment does not represent the commission's stand.

"It was a personal opinion and request made by one of the Commissioners of PACC that does not reflect the sentiments of the Commission," Belgica said in a statement.

"This is not the time for politicking. We are not concerned with any personality... Our concern is to save lives and rebuild our country and the lives of our people after all this ends," he said.