Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday challenged Malacañang to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo as the head of the government’s COVID-19 task force following the criticisms of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
His statement came after Roque was quoted in a television interview suggesting Robredo should offer solutions instead of allegedly criticizing the government’s COVID-19 response.
Trillanes, a critic of the Duterte administration, said the government should consider asking Robredo to lead the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Kung si Vice President Leni ang mamumuno at magpapatakbo ng IATF, mas marami itong magagawa at siguradong mas maganda ang kampanya natin laban sa COVID-19,” he said.
[Translation: If Vice President Leni leads the IATF, she can do more and our COVID-19 response will be more effective.]
The IATF is led by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is currently being investigated by the Ombudsman for alleged irregularities and anomalies in his department’s COVID-19 response.
The former senator also slammed Roque for falsely claiming that Robredo has not helped Filipinos during the health crisis.
“Bulag ba o nagbubulag-bulagan itong si Roque sa mga nagawa at kasalukuyang ginagawang pagtulong ng Bise Presidente sa ating mga kababayan sa harap ng pandemyang ito,” Trillanes pointed out.
[Translation: Is Roque blind or is he choosing not to see all the efforts of the Vice President to help our countrymen?]
Robredo, though her office and with the help of several partners, was able to raise millions of pesos in donations. She reported in May that she was able to raise over P60 million.
The Vice President’s office also provides personal protective equipment and medical supplies to hospitals nationwide, giving food and sending home hundreds of locally-stranded individuals. It is also fine-tuning plans to hold a donation drive for gadgets as students shift to blended learning, among other efforts.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself commended Robredo’s efforts in helping Filipinos in need amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Duterte previously offered the top post in Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs to Robredo after she criticized the administration’s bloody drug war. But her stint as anti-drug czar ended after 19 days, when she was fired by Duterte.