Robredo urges gov't: Face the music on pandemic funds probe

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2021 10:54 AM

Vice President Leni Robredo speaks before the delegates at the 28th Canon Law Society of the Philippines (CLSP) National Convention, held at F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Jay Ganzon, OVP Handout/file
Vice President Leni Robredo speaks before the delegates at the 28th Canon Law Society of the Philippines (CLSP) National Convention, held at F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Jay Ganzon, OVP Handout/file

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday urged the Duterte administration to cooperate with the Senate's investigation into the alleged mismanagement of pandemic funds.

Robredo said it would be best if officials gave senators a walkthrough of how the budget was spent.

"Para sakin ang the best way to respond to the investigation sa Senado, harapin, i-walkthrough sa process kung bakit naging ganito. Hindi ko 'yun nakikita ngayon," she told ANC's Headstart.

(For me the best way to respond to the Senate investigation is to face it, walk them through the process. I don't see that right now.)

President Rodrigo Duterte has been "sending mixed signals" as far as his anti-corruption campaign promise is concerned, according to Robredo.

"Kahit naman before the pandemic there have been a lot of officials already who have been embroiled in corruption scandals na tatanggalin tapos malalaman natin nalipat lang pala sa ibang posisyon," she said.

(Even before the pandemic there have been a lot of officials already who have been embroiled in corruption scandals who were removed from office but later we're informed have been transferred to another position.)

"Ito talaga ang very frustrating, we’re in the middle of something na really difficult. Ang dami nating kababayan na namamatay, nagkakasakit, nawawalan ng trabaho, nagugutom. Bakit nangyayari ito?"

(This is what's very frustration we’re in the middle of something na really difficult. Many Filipinos are dying, getting sick, are unemployed, are hungry. Why is this happening?)

The Vice President added that the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission should have been the first to know if there was mishandling of funds in the executive department.

"Dapat sila ang nauna kasi ito ang mandato nila, bakit ngayon palang sila magi-start?" she said.

(They should have been the first to investigate because this is their mandate, why would they begin only now?)

Robredo also questioned government's creation of another anti-corruption body when the PACC already exists.

Government had formed the Inter-Agency Anti-Corruption Coordinating Council following the Senate investigation into DOH's funds.

"It's difficult to make any judgments now, ang tanong ko lang bakit kailangan gawin na meron nang PACC...Kung walang existing tingin ko okay lang," she said.

(My only question is why do we need to create another one if there's already PACC...If there isn't an existing body already, it would be okay.)

"It doesn’t need to lead to creating another layer, yung sa'kin lang yung honest to goodness na pagpapakita that you are fighting corruption."

(Just show that you're honest to goodness in fighting corruption.)

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