Robredo's staff asked me to secure docs - De Lima
MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Monday, September 10 that the staff of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo had asked her to help secure documents on the night Robredo's plane crashed on August 18.
"Saturday was the plane crash, between 8 to 9 in the evening, staff of Sec. Jess mentioned about sensitive documents, na kailangan i-secure," [The plane crash happened on Saturday. Between 8-9 in the evening, staff of Sec. Jesse mentioned about sensitive documents that needed to be secured," she told reporters.
De Lima added that she reminded President Benigno Aquino III about it because Robredo has been investigating cases in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
On Sunday, September 9, President Aquino told reporters that he had ordered outgoing Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno to secure Robredo's documents after he was reminded about them by De Lima.
De Lima clarified though that she did not know where the documents were at that point. She said she only reminded the President because "it will be very prudent and proper that those document be secured, whether they are in the offices or condo."
An aide and friend of Robredo, Jun Lavadia, expressed disbelief that the President would issue such an order hours after the plane crash. Our own chronology of events also showed that De Lima had spoken about securing Robredo's documents only on the basis of a request made by Robredo's wife Leni.
De Lima explained to reporters Monday that she went to Robredo's condominium on August 20 but this time upon the request of Robredo's wife, Leni. The Justice Secretary said that she did not get any documents. "Not a single document... ang pinalabas ko lang doon ay mga personal effects na nirequest ni Mrs Robredo. Request lang ni Mrs. Robredo and I saw there were certain documents there, so I secured them also right there. (Not a single document... what I had taken out were his personal effects upon the request of Ms Robredo. I saw there were certain documents there, so I secured them also right there," she said.)
"Lamesa sa condo, yung ang mga kinuha ko. Ang sure ako may mga personal items, yun ang mga pinadala sa akin. Yung folders, sineal ko yun (I took the table from the condo. There were personal items that they asked me to get. There were folders which I sealed.)," De Lima recalled.
De Lima said that she and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa - who was designated as interim DILG secretary on August 18 - agreed that an inventory of Robredo's documents should be done upon the return of Robredo's staff from Naga. She said she is not aware if an inventory was indeed conducted.
On August 19, DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno and 3 police officers went to Robredo’s condominium in Quezon City at around 10:30 am. Puno also visited Robredo’s offices in DILG and in the National Police Commission headquarters in Quezon City but failed to enter both. Puno allegedly tried to get documents.
De Lima is one of the Cabinet officials that Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago want to appear in a Senate hearing, scheduled on Friday, September 14, on Puno's alleged "raid." De Lima said she needs to talk to President Aquino about it first, however. - Rappler. com