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MANILA, Philippines - The daughter of resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno has broken her silence and lashed out at her father's critics.
In a blog post titled, "As he breaks his silence, so will I" Puno's daughter, Inna, said she was saddened that her father quit his post because he had done much as Undersecretary for Peace and Order at the DILG.
"To be honest, I am quite upset that my father resigned from his post. It's not because he'll be at home all the time, but because he's come so far, he’s done so much, and for what?" she wrote.
"I keep asking myself why he gave up on the People so easily? I keep asking myself why couldn’t he hold on any longer? I was so proud of him, actually, WE ARE SO PROUD OF HIM. He kept silent. He let the people think for themselves as different facts were unravelled as each day passes. And after all that bad news, he was the only one smiling at home," she added.
Inna denied reports that her father gained anything from his post.
"Our family never once used this so called “power” or “unique relationship” with the President for our advantage. We still live in the same house, we have the same crew, the same cars, and the same standard of living. We still prefer staying at home and eating lunch on Sundays. We live simply, and we will die simple. My father is not a politician and we are not a political family. We serve the Filipino people because like the president, believe in his daang matuwid life. And so I ask again, WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS POSITION NOW THAT HE HAS LEFT?" Inna said.
Puno is known as one of President Benigno Aquino III's closest friends and a shooting buddy. His appointment had been controversial from the start because he was given oversight of the National Police and related agencies, while his boss, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, was given charge only of the local governments side of the portfolio.
Puno was in the news in the weeks following Robredo’s death in a plane crash after ABS-CBN broke a story that Puno and several police officers had tried to stage a “raid” of the condominium unit where Robredo stayed with his daughters when he is in Manila; as well as Robredo’s DILG office.
A police officer has attested he was present on the night of August 18 when Puno, then meeting with PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome, received a call from President Aquino instructing him to secure the office of Robredo, who was then missing as his plane fell into Masbate Sea earlier that day.
President Aquino, speaking to reporters at the APEC in Russia, confirmed giving that order to Puno.
In her blog, Inna also lashed out at a certain "Mr. Man" who appeared to be close with the family but was also targeting her father.
"And to you, you know who you are, as I will call you Mr. Man, you may look good, you may have good intentions, but how dare you, enter our home, eat our food, and mingle with our family, only to what? WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO YOU TO DESERVE THIS KIND OF TREATMENT? How do you sleep at night knowing that you are ruining a man’s life only to reach a certain position?" Inna wrote.
She also criticized media for reporting that Puno raided the late Secretary Jesse Robredo's offices and condominium unit.
"I graduated with a Development Communication degree, and our school taught us to always be moral and two-sided. The fact that one network used the word “raid” with the word “breaking news” and with just a photo of a logbook for evidence made me doubt, made US doubt everything that they had to say," she said.
In the end, Puno's daughter also thanked her and her family's supporters for being with them amid the criticisms.
"It made us stronger each day. It made us believe that we still had our “kakampi” with us. It made us wake up each day knowing that our true friends are here for us," Inna said.
Puno resigned from his post after reports surfaced that he was being investigated by the late Secretary Robredo involving the PNP's gun procurement.