MANILA -- Malacanang on Wednesday brushed off calls of an opposition lawmaker urging several Cabinet secretaries of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to resign following the hostage crisis that killed eight tourists.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a press briefing said this is not the time for blaming and that the government should focus on helping the victims and their families.

“Siguro ang gawin natin tulungan natin ang mga biktima at ang kamag-anak nila imbes na pag-usapan natin ito at i-politicized. Mas maganda na tayo ay magkasama-sama at maki-isa sa pag-dadalamhati sa mga nasawi sa malungkot na incidente na ito,” Lacierda said.

House Minority leader Edcel Lagman has urged Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and two officials of the Presidential Communications Group Ricky Carandang and Herminio “Sonny” Coloma to resign, citing their incompetence in handling the hostage-taking staged by former police officer Rolando Mendoza.

“Instead of doing the blame game, for now, let us leave it with the investigation process,” Lacierda said.

He noted that Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is still in the hospital and the investigation will start immediately after she is discharged on Thursday.

Lacierda also believed that such calls for resignation is premature at this point pending the investigation of the case.

He meanwhile defended Robredo amid criticisms, saying that the DILG secretary should be given credit for monitoring the 12-hour hostage-taking since the very start.

“With respect to Secretary Robredo, he was there in the area alam niya ang nangyayari. Kausap niya ang mga generals,” he said.

He added that Secretary Carandang will be meeting with the media to discuss protocol in covering hostage-taking incident if ever such crisis will happen again in the future. There is no specific date yet for the dialogue with media. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)