Duterte fires PACC commissioner

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MANILA – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PAC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna was fired over national television by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday after urging the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Vice President Leni Robredo for allegedly undermining the government’s Covid-19 efforts.

“Fire him, as of this moment he is no longer connected with government,” Duterte said upon hearing Luna’s call on NBI.

The President defended the Vice President saying she has not done anything wrong.

“Si Leni was calling the private sector na magtulong, naghingi sya nang tulong. Tama yan. Maghingi ka nang tulong sa kapwa mo tao sa hirap ngayon,” Duterte added.

Luna in a statement on Thursday called on the NBI to probe Robredo for alleged illegal solicitation and undermining the efforts of the National Government in this time of national calamity.

“Being a part of the National Government, Robredo is barred from competing with the DOH (Department of Health), DSWD and OCD (Office of Civil Defense) / NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), or undermining their efforts, and from soliciting donations, in cash or in kind, from the taxpaying public, especially since funds have already been appropriated or set aside for relief assistance, disaster mitigation, rehabilitation,” Luna said in a statement.

But even before the NBI could respond to the call of Luna, PACC Commissioner and Spokesperson Greco Belgica, clarified that PACC “is not asking anyone to investigate VP Leni Robredo.”

He said Luna’s statement is his personal opinion and not of PACC.

“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,” Belgica said.

Meanwhile, Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesman, found Luna’s call “ridiculous, so inappropriate, so out of touch, that I had to verify if it was really true. I am deeply disappointed that it was.”

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