Robredo on IATF post: ‘Nakikita kung sino ‘yung takot’

By Glee Jalea, CNN Philippines

Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo denied that she was interested to apply as head of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), saying even without an appointed post she had been helping in efforts to contain the pandemic.

She laughed off the “fear” of some officials who have been trying to dismiss the idea of her heading the Task Force.

“Huwag po kayong matakot kasi hindi ako nag-aapply. Nakakatawa lang kasi nakikita kung sino ‘yung natatakot eh,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show on Sunday.

[Translation: Do not be afraid because I am not applying to any post. I just find it funny because it shows who are seemingly afraid.]

Robredo did not name names, but hinted at some government officials who responded to the remark of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday to have Malacañang appoint her as head of the IATF.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had rejected Trillanes’ challenge, noting that there is no need for Robredo to be appointed if she really has genuine intentions.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, whose “Balik Probinsya” program was recently suspended, even chimed in with a similar sentiment in a recent radio interview and noted that Robredo should learn from her fate as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.

‘I don’t need a title to get the job done’

Robredo reiterated that since day one, she intended to get the job done, even without any position involved.

“Unang una, hindi ko naman kailangan ng posisyon para tumulong. Nakita naman sa trabaho natin mula day one. Dati nga hindi pa tayo inaappoint sa Cabinet, marami na tayong ginagawa,” she said.

[Translation: First of all, I don’t need a position to help out. It can be proven in our efforts since day one. Even before getting a Cabinet position, we have done a lot of things.]

Robredo, who chairs the Liberal Party, has been booted out of her government post for a number of times due to her differences with the Duterte administration.

In November, President Rodrigo Duterte fired Robredo from her post as ICAD co-chair less than three weeks after her appointment.

Even in the early days of the Duterte administration, Robredo was appointed as Housing Secretary but had to resign after she was suddenly barred from attending Cabinet meetings.

However, back in April, Duterte lauded Robredo for seeking help from private companies that could help in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He even fired Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Manuelito Luna for recommending an investigation on Robredo and questioning her efforts amid the crisis.

The Office of the Vice President has been helping out over the past months in generating funds to assist frontliners, health workers, and local communities, among others. She has also distributed test kits and protective gears to hospitals, and food and care packs for those hit by the pandemic.

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