Monday, October 26, 2020

Philippines: President Duterte fires anti-corruption chief for calling out vice president Robredo on COVID-19 corruption activities


President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday evening announced that he fired Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, who earlier asked the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Vice President Leni Robredo for allegedly competing with the government’s efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Ngayon, ito naman may tao ako na abogado sa PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, gusto niya na ipa-imbestiga si Leni kung bakit nag-solicit. Anak ka ng… Kaya ako nung narinig ko, sabi ko, ‘Fire him.’,” the president said in a Friday evening address.

(I have a lawyer at the PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, he wants to have Leni investigated over solicitation. You son of a…So when I heard this, I said, ‘Fire him.’)

“As of this moment, he is no longer connected with government.”

Luna told reporters Thursday that the commission was asking the NBI to investigate Robredo for actions that “compete with” or are “calculated to undermine” the national government’s COVID-19 measures.

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However, his statements were disowned by Commissioner Greco Belgica, who clarified that these were personal sentiments that did not reflect the entire PACC.

“PACC is not asking anyone to investigate VP Leni Robredo. On the other hand, we are thankful to everyone who are helping the frontliners and the needy including the VP,” Belgica said in his statement.

“It was a personal opinion and request made by one of the commissioners of PACC that does not reflect the sentiments of the commission.”

Duterte also defended Robredo in his speech last night, saying that she had done nothing wrong.

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“Ako, when panahon na i-criticize ko si Leni…sometimes the language that I use is very… Pero itong panahon na ito na wala namang kasalanan ‘yung vice president. Nag-ano — nag-ano nga na magtulong. Bakit ipa-imbestiga mo sa…?” he said.

(When the time comes that I criticize Leni…sometimes that language that I use is very….But now that the vice president has done nothing wrong. She even made the effort to help. Why would you ask for a probe?)


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