Robredo: Acting secretary designation 'least of my concerns'

Posted at 09/07/2010 3:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government chief Jesse Robredo is not bothered by Malacañang's move to designate him as acting secretary of his department amid criticisms regarding the August 23 hostage crisis that left 8 Hong Kong tourists dead.

In a partial list of Cabinet officials submitted by the Palace to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation, Robredo’s name was not on the list, as with Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

“Ulitin ko lang, ako po nung inatasan magtrabaho, ang aking konsiderasyon ay yung kontribusyon at magagawa ko (para sa DILG). Hindi po kapangyarihan or turf (ang habol ko sa posisyon na ito). Sa akin ay kung ano yung kakayahan na magagawa ko dito sa posisyon na ito,” he told radyo DZMM’s Kabayan on Monday.

“That’s the least of my concerns. Hindi po ganyan ang aking pananaw sa trabaho,” he added.

The 3 officials were named acting secretaries, a report by VERA Files, a group of investigative journalists, said. (Click here for VERA Files story).

Robredo said he only recently learned about the Palace's decision.

Robredo also denied he has conflicts with DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Rico Puno, who has been tasked to handle policy matters concerning the Philippine National Police.

“Sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa PNP hindi din po sa akin yun. Kami ni Usec [undersecretary] Puno, teamwork kami dyan,” he said.

Robredo also clarified the DILG only has administrative powers over the police force through the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

“Napolcom is policy oversight functioning. Ang tinitignan sa akin, more on policy. Ano yung systemic na pagbabago na pwedeng gawin, hindi yung anong gagawin sa sistemang nangyayari,” he said.

“Siya [Puno] ‘yung eyes and ears ng Pangulo sa PNP. Yung day-to-day, hindi [sa DILG]. Pero sa bagay na may magagawa din ako, katulad ng budget ng police station at office, may ginawa na kaming pagbabago,” he said.

He said people still think the PNP is under the DILG even if the police force is a separate entity. He said the DILG has no hand in assigning the police in various localities.

"Napolcom, by itself [handles], oversight policy, a collegial body, kasama ang PNP. Yun yung papel ng DILG sa kapulisan. Ang tamang role, policy lang, talaga walang operational sa kapulisan. Nagkasanayan lang kasi na ganun yung ginagawa,” he said.

The secretary added that the investigations into the August 23 hostage crisis will likely continue until Thursday.

After the public hearings, he said the Incident Investigation and Review Committee will immediately prepare its report and release it between Sept. 15 and 18. - With DZMM