‘Robredo probe was on transaction, not on Puno’

Posted at 09/09/12 2:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo’s investigation centered on the procurement of high-powered rifles and not on his subordinate, Undersecretary Rico Puno.

In an interview with radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said: “The investigation is on the transaction and not centered on a specific person.”

The probe has taken center-stage following news that Puno and some police officials went to Robredo’s condominium unit on August 19, a day after the late official’s plane crashed off the waters of Masbate.

There is no indication that Puno was after the report, but the documents could implicate him.

In Vladivostok, President Benigno Aquino III finally answered the controversy and said he was the one who ordered Puno to “seal” the office of Robredo.

He said it was logical to order Puno since he was one of the undersecretaries. Nonetheless, Aquino will already replace Puno in the DILG and is mulling to transfer him to another office.

Asked why Aquino needed to secure Robredo’s offices when he was only declared dead three days after the plane crash, Valte stressed that “security still have to be maintained.” She said the President was of the sense to order the top officials in the DILG.

Asked, however, why Justice Secretary Leila de Lima still had to go to the condominium thereafter, Valte insisted it was Robredo’s wife, Ma. Leonor, who asked for it “in order to secure the personal effects.”

On Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s plans to probe the alleged raid led by Puno, Valte merely said: “It’s within her prerogative to call for that.”