Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has apologized to Vice President Leni Robredo for reacting to a false claim that Robredo used a government plane (C-130) when she provided aid to typhoon victims in Catanduanes.
Panelo said sorry after Robredo’s camp told him in a statement to “get his facts straight."
“Nakakalungkot lang, tumutulong si VP Leni sa mga tinamaan ng bagyo at baha, at imbes na suporta, paninira at kasinungalingan ang binabato. Ano ba ang mga ito, lingkod-bayan o troll?" said Robredo's spokesman Barry Gutierrez.
In Panelo’s PTV talk show last Monday, November 16, Panelo criticized Robredo saying the vice president made it appear that she was the one leading relief efforts using a C-130 plane: “Sumabay ka doon sa mga relief goods. O, ‘di parang ikaw ang may dala noon.”
But Panelo has admitted that upon checking with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, he found out that the claim was not true.
“The relief goods were carried to Catanduanes from Legazpi City. In other words, the information with respect to her riding the C-130 is obviously inaccurate because it’s the relief goods that were brought there,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).
Panelo said he apologized to Robredo “for expressing an opinion relative to an information, which happened to be inaccurate.”
He also denied claims that they are not welcoming the vice president’s initiatives. “My critical narrative was on the basis of her camp criticizing the President for not doing his work,” he said.
The hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo trended in social media after the recent storms when netizens scored the absence of President Rodrigo Duterte before the Typhoon Rolly.
After the President’s address last night, November 17, where he claimed that Robredo started the #NasaanAngPangulo hashtag, Robredo clarified that she “never said ‘Where is the President?’ You can review all my tweets.”
I just called out Sec Panelo for peddling fake news. I am also calling out whoever peddled the fake news to the President, kaya ganito siya ka pikon. I never said “Where is the President”? You can review all my tweets.— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 17, 2020
Article thumbnails taken from the Presidential Communications Operations Office's official website