Duterte fires PACC commissioner

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, April 3, dismissed a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission for calling for an investigation against Vice President Leni Robredo over alleged illegal solicitations for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) aid.

During his address to the nation Friday evening, Duterte said Commissioner Manuelito Luna is no longer connected with the government.

Duterte clarified that Robredo only called the private sector to ask for help, however, Luna urged the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the Vice President over alleged illegal solicitations and for competing with government efforts to address the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Gusto niya na ipa-imbestiga si Leni kung bakit nag solicit. Kaya nga nung narinig ko, sabi ko, fire him. As of this moment, he is no longer connected with the government," the President said.

"Pero itong panahon na ito na wala namang kasalanan ang Vice President, nag ano nga na magtulong, bakit ipa imbestiga pa. At tsaka iyong NBI na mag imbestiga nun, pati kayo isali ko sa dismissal," he added.

On Thursday, Luna said the vice president’s relief efforts are “calculated to undermine” national government efforts to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The National Bureau of Investigation should investigate Vice President Leni Robredo for illegal solicitations, actions that compete with, or calculated to undermine, national government efforts in this time of public health emergency or national calamities, such as OVP’s free shuttle service and dormitories for health workers, and PPEs for health workers,” Luna said.

Another PACC commissioner, however, was quick to clarify that the call of PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna was his “personal opinion” and did not reflect the sentiments of the commission.

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica, in another statement, said the commission is “not asking anyone to investigate VP Leni Robredo”.

“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 the President promised. Our concern is to end this Covid-19 (outbreak),” Belgica said. (SunStar Philippines)