Malacañang welcomes Robredo's initiatives in fight vs COVID-19

Published July 28, 2021, 11:43 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said it was not diminishing the efforts of Vice President Leni Robredo to help Filipinos during the coronavirus pandemic, noting that all contributions were highly appreciated.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Vice President Leni Robredo (Manila Bulletin File Photos)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Robredo said during her Ulat sa Bayan address that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) was able to initiate several COVID-19 response projects despite a measly budget that does not exceed P900 million for 2021 due to the trust and good deeds of Filipinos.

In his statement, Roque said Malacañang was appreciative of Robredo’s initiatives during the pandemic.

“We welcome the initiatives of the Vice President in the fight against COVID-19. which she enumerated in her Ulat sa Bayan and we are in no way diminishing her efforts in this trying time,” he said Wednesday, July 28.

“Any contribution, including policy recommendations from the political opposition, to ensure the successful fight against the pandemic, is much appreciated,” he added.

Roque reiterated that it was time to help the government address the effects of the pandemic.

“Now is the time to focus on COVID-19 and help the national government in achieving population protection; so together, we will recover and have a happy Christmas and a better future for all Filipinos,” he said.

Roque likewise agreed with Vice President Robredo in turning the spotlight on Filipinos who helped their fellowmen amid the threats and challenges of the crisis.

“The Palace is one with the Vice President in her Ulat sa Bayan message that in this challenging time of COVID-19, it is the Filipinos who helped and came to the rescue of fellow Filipinos,” he said.

“In fact, in his last State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte personally paid tribute to Filipinos who have provided essential health services, have made our food chain supply running, have boosted economic activity, and have ensured peace and order in our communities during this pandemic,” he added.

This was not the first time Malacañang recognized Robredo’s contributions to the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. President Duterte himself sacked former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Manuelito Luna for calling on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Robredo for asking the private sector to help frontliners.

“Noong narinig ko sinabi ko (When I heard about it, I said), ‘Fire him.’ As of this moment, he is no longer connected with government,” he said in April 2020.

Duterte admitted that there were times when he criticized Robredo in public, and sometimes used harsh language, but said the Vice President did nothing wrong this time around.

“Ako, panahon ng i-criticize ko si Leni (I once criticized her), sometimes the language that I use is very… Pero itong panahon na ito na wala namang kasalanan ang Vice President, nag-ano nga na mag-tulong, bakit ipa-imbestiga (But this time, the Vice President did nothing wrong. She even asked for help. Why would you want her investigated)?” he said.