MANILA – The efforts of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to help the government in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are appreciated, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the clarification following criticisms due to his recent remarks that Robredo should offer solutions to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Be that as it may, this does not diminish the fact we acknowledge the contributions of the Vice President in the fight against Covid-19,” Roque said in a press statement.

Roque on Wednesday advised Robredo to give solutions to the problems besetting the country because of Covid-19 instead of criticizing the government’s efforts to help stranded individuals amid the implementation of nationwide quarantine restrictions to combat the disease.

Robredo’s allies and supporters, including former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, slammed Roque for issuing such a statement against the Vice President.

Trillanes, in a statement released on Friday, dared Malacañang to let Robredo lead the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) if it indeed wants to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Roque hit Trillanes for twisting his statement “for the sake of political relevance.”

“We find it really unfortunate that Mr. Antonio Trillanes IV is sowing intrigue and division during this challenging time of Covid-19,” he said. “Let us not make an issue when there is none.”

Roque said his remarks about Robredo are “simply a response to a specific question by media.”

He advised Trillanes to just do his share to alleviate the plight of the Filipinos amid the pandemic.

“It is only through our solidarity and cooperation can we heal and recover as one,” Roque said.

Roque said there is no need for Robredo to be appointed in the IATF-EID, as suggested by Trillanes, if the Vice President is helping in her “own ways“ and if her intentions are “genuine.”

He added that he would even forward Robredo’s suggestions to the IATF-EID, should she present several ways on how to help the stranded individuals due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“We reiterate this to the Vice President: If she could offer solutions on how to address those who earlier tested negative for Covid-19 in Metro Manila but tested positive once they reach their respective provinces, I would be more than willing to submit her proposed solutions to the Inter-Agency Task Force,” Roque said. (PNA)

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