Malacañang said Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo did not need to be appointed to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases if her intentions were genuine.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after former senator Antonio Trillanes IV dared the government to appoint Robredo as IATF chair, the position occupied by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“We find it really unfortunate that Mr. Antonio Trillanes IV is sowing intrigue and division during this challenging time of Covid-19,” Roque said in a statement Friday, adding that his previous statement asking Robredo to offer solutions rather than merely criticising the administration had been “twisted.”

Roque in an ANC interview on Wednesday said he wished “the Vice President could actually offer solutions” on how to address those who had tested negative for the coronavirus in Metro Manila but tested positive when sent home to provinces.

“Let us not make an issue when there is none. My remarks that [Robredo] could have offered solutions is simply a response to a specific question by media, and 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 reached their respective provinces, I would be more than willing to submit her proposed solutions to the IATF,” Roque added.

Trillanes earlier said: “If Malacanang really wants to flatten the curve, then it should appoint Vice President Robredo to be the IATF chair.”

“Kung si Vice President Leni ang mamumuno at magpapatakbo ng IATF, mas marami itong magagawa at siguradong mas maganda ang kampanya natin laban sa Covid-19.”

Roque said the government acknowledged Robredo’s contributions in the fight against Covid-19, but there was no need to designate her in the IATF.

“She is helping in her own ways and if her intentions are genuine, there is no need for her to be appointed or designated in the IATF, as suggested by the former Senator,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro