Press Release

Palace: File cases on alleged irregularities, let government officials attend to COVID-19 response


The Palace is appealing to lawmakers to file charges with regard to alleged government anomalies instead of making government officials attend hearings that take away precious time that should have been spent on the government’s COVID-19 response.

“Kung meron po talagang korapsyon dito, sampahan na lang po natin ng kaso at hayaan natin ang Ombudsman ang magdesisyon. Dahil kapag merong ebidensiya, masasampahan naman po yan ng kaso,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in a press briefing on September 13, 2021.

The President’s spokesperson added that the Chief Executive thinks that the time spent attending these hearings should be spent more on dealing with the COVID response.

“Ang sinasabi lang ng Presidente, yung mga taong dumadalo sa pagpupulong, kasama po diyan ang DOH Secretary, kasama po diyan ang Vaccine Czar, kasama po diyan ang Testing Czar, yung oras na nauubos sa pagdalo ng mga pagpupulong na ito ay oras na dapat ginugugol sa COVID [response],” said Secretary Roque.

The Palace official added, “Kaya nga po natatanggal ang oras at atensyon ng ating mga opisyales na nakatutok sa COVID ay dahil sa mga pagpupulong na ito.” Roque however underscored that the President will not stop the hearings as the Senate is an independent body.

“Ang pakiusap lang, nasa gitna pa po tayo ng pandemya, hayaan natin na yung mga taong talaga namang silang nakatutok sa COVID ay magawa ang kanilang mga katungkulan,” Roque remarked.

Still on this issue, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a statement on September 11, 2021 with regard to the ongoing Senate hearings. Roque quoted the Executive Secretary who said, “A surge has been going on for almost several days. And yet, most of our officials supposed to attend to this surge are being required to attend hearings for an alleged ‘grand plunder’, which to date nothing has been shown to prove their case except speculations drawn from bullying of resource persons most of whom have already been criminally condemned.”

Secretary Medialdea continued, “I have a suggestion to those conducting the Senate hearings. Just file the necessary cases and leave it to the experts tasked to investigate them while you do your jobs to legislate or conduct investigation properly in the aid of legislation.”

Meanwhile, Sec. Roque thanked those who supported him when he voiced his concerns in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in behalf of those who are most affected by lockdowns.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa natanggap nating suporta nang ating ipinaglaban at naging boses ng karaniwang Pilipino sa IATF. Kabilang po rito si Volteire Caballero, isang entrepreneur, na nangutang para magnegosyo noong 2017. May labinlima (15) siyang tao, at kanyang sinabi, ‘97% recovery, pwede naman siguro maging healthy, at mga hospitals na nagho-hold ng mga asymptomatic, pauwiin na lang for home quarantine para di mapuno hospitals.’ ”

“Hirap na hirap na ang tulad ni Volteire sa hard lockdown. Uulitin ko, tama na po ang paghihirap ng sambayanan. Tama na po ang pagkakait ng karapatang magkaroon ng hanapbuhay,” stressed Roque.

Roque added, “Nasa gitna pa po tayo ng pandemya, at kailangan natin matutong mamuhay kasama po ang coronavirus.” ###