PACC’s Belgica says colleague’s call to probe Robredo’s COVID-19 aid “a personal opinion”

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020   •   1440

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner and Spokesperson Greco Belgica on Thursday clarified that the call of one of his colleagues to probe Vice President Leni Robredo’s fund drive and relief operations amid the COVID-19 crisis was just “his personal opinion.”

In a statement, Belgica said Commissioner Manuelito Luna’s statement calling on the National Bureau of Investigation to prove Robredo for allegedly competing with the government’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 “was a personal opinion,” and “does not reflect the body’s sentiments.

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

“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,” he added.

He also said that the government’s immediate concern right now is to end the coronavirus pandemic, save lives, and rebuild the country and the lives of people after the crisis ends.

“Magtulungan po tayo. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tumutulong pati ang hindi lumalabas ng bahay. Tayo po ay nakakatulong sa ating pagsunod,” he said.

Robredo’s camp earlier slammed Luna’s statement, calling it “ridiculous” and “inappropriate” amid the COVID-19 threat.

Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez said VP Leni has mobilized groups and organized free transport to help health workers, government institutions, and ordinary Filipinos overcome the challenges they had to face due to the threat of infection.

“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,” he said.

He assured that Robredo will continue to do all she can to help those in need in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

COMELEC spox says vote buying a poll offense

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – Vote buying is an election offense “regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” Commission on Elections (COMELEC) spokesperson James Jimenez said Wednesday.

Jimenez made the remark a day after Vice President Leni Robredo said that Filipinos should take the money being offered to them but still vote for their preferred candidate.

Robredo, a presidential aspirant and standard bearer of the opposition for the 2022 elections, on Tuesday said that Filipinos who are offered money in exchange for their vote should accept the money but still vote according to their conscience.

While vote buying is illegal, she said that individuals engaging in such act is hard to apprehend as it is not done in public and the money could now be transferred electronically.

She made the response when asked on the issue of vote buying during a forum with a group of household service workers who support her election bid.

“Lagi kong sinasabi, tanggapin niyo kasi galing sa inyo ‘yan. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan. Pero iboto mo kung ano ang nasa konsiyensiya mo,” Robredo said.

But Jimenez countered Robredo’s statement.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience. Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” he said.

“Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” he added.

Under Omnibus Election Code, vote buying and vote selling are considered as election offense.

VP Robredo files COC for 2022 presidential bid

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday formalized her bid for the presidency in the 2022 elections by filing her certificate of candidacy (COC) just hours after making a declaration to join the race.

Robredo filed her COC before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

She was accompanied by her daughters, Tricia and Aika, and lawyer Romulo Macalintal.

Earlier in the day, Robredo announced her presidential bid, vowing to fight the country’s “old and rotten” political system and properly address issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Buong-buo ang loob ko ngayon. Kailangan nating palayain ang sarili mula sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon. Lalaban ako. Lalaban tayo. Inihahain ko ang aking sarili bilang kandidato sa pagkapangulo sa halalan ng 2022,” she said in her speech.

Prior to her announcement, Robredo was nominated by the opposition coalition, 1Sambayan as its presidential candidate.

Before she was elected vice president in 2016, she served as Camarines Sur representative to Congress.

Palace on VP Leni’s presidential bid: It’s her right

Maris Federez   •   October 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Following Vice President Leni Robredo’s declaration of joining the presidential race in the 2022 national elections, Malacañang said seeking any electoral post is her right as a Filipino.

“Well, it’s every right of a Filipino to stand for public office,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing Thursday.

Robredo file her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Thursday before the Commission on Elections.

The Vice President’s announcement happened two days after former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., declared that he is running for president in the coming elections.

Marcos and Robredo were known to be the closest rivals for the vice-presidential post in the 2016 elections. —/mbmf

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