Former Aquino cabinet officials should not be used as “scapegoats” to pass on the blame for present woes, Vice President Leni Robredo said Thursday after several charges were filed against top officials of the previous administration.
“Ako, mahirap magparatang, pero sa akin, kapag may nagkasala, tama lamang na sampahan ng kaso. Iyong atin lang ninanais, sana iyong pagsampa ng kaso ay base sa datos na maayos [It would be hard to accuse someone, but for me, if there were really mistakes that were done in the past, then it would be good to file charges. What we only wanted is that cases would be filed based on strong evidence],” Robredo, who chairs the once-dominant Liberal Party, told reporters in a chance interview in Caloocan City.
“Hindi siya ginagawang dahilan para lang maghanap ng scapegoat para sa mga bagay na hindi nagagawa. [But this should not be used as a scapegoat for things that may have been missed],” Robredo added, without clarifying what she meant.
The Vice President was asked on her thoughts following the recent filing of charges against top LP stalwarts this November amid various alleged irregularities that transpired in the previous administration.
Robredo, a former Camarines Sur solon before winning the vice presidency, said that she will not gloss over important matters that is needed to be called out— despite the administration’s apparent crackdown against her partymates.
“Ang nakakatakot lang, baka ginagawa ito para magpasa ng blame sa iba. Ito iyong dapat hindi pinapayagan.”
The Ombudsman recently filed charges against former president Benigno Aquino III for the first time at the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan over the botched Mamasapano operations.
The Ombudsman explained that Aquino’s liability stems from the fact that the former president “assented to, or at the very least failed to prevent” the participation of a then-suspended police general, committing the crime of graft and usurpation.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) likewise filed plunder complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against nine former Aquino cabinet members over the alleged anomalous contract for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit 3 — including former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Eldon Cruz — President Aquino’s brother-in-law, were likewise linked by a witness to the General Santos roadway scam, after allegedly endorsing the release of payments for the supposed bogus road right-of-way claims in General Santos City, which amounted to P8.7 billion.
During the 2016 elections, Robredo had said that it was unfair for the people to blame previous Aquino cabinet officials — including her then running-mate Roxas — for the worsening traffic and the sorry state of Metro Rail Transit (MRT).