MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's move to fire an anti-corruption official who sought for a probe against her coronavirus pandemic relief efforts.
Duterte on Friday fired Manuelito Luna, one of the commissioners of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, after he said the Vice President should be investigated for "competing" with the national government's own relief program.
Robredo said the President made a "good move" even as she was surprised to hear Duterte defend her.
"Nagulat in a sense na for a very long time, hindi natin napapakinggan si Presidente na pinagtatanggol tayo. Natuwa dahil tingin ko, kailangan yun sa panahon ngayon na kailangan ang mensaheng magtulong-tulungan tayo," she told ANC when asked for her reaction on Duterte's decision.
"Para sa'kin, I think it was a good move. Sa'min, welcome move yun kasi ang panahon natin, extraordinary. Hindi dapat tino-tolerate 'yung individual o public official na siya pa yung nagso-sow ng division within government."
Robredo, however, said it was "untimely" for Duterte for lashing out at human rights lawyer Chel Diokno.
"Hindi siya napapanahon na nagbabangayan tayo. Dapat, 'yung mensahe parati, isantabi natin yung pulitika, magtulong-tulungan tayo," she said.
"Kung meron tayong di pinagkakaintindihan, kalimutan muna natin ngayon. 'Pag may ganyang bangayan, hindi siya nakakabuti. Meron tayong unknown enemy na kailangan pinagtutulungan natin gibain, tayo-tayo pa ba magaaway-away?"
Diokno, an ally of Robredo and a member of the opposition's Senate slate for the 2019 midterm elections, said he was used to Duterte's tirades and urged the President to focus on addressing the pandemic.
Robredo said public officials have to exercise patience if they get criticized and should be open to suggestions from the public.