DILG's Puno resigns, says condo visit was under Aquino order

Thea Alberto-Masakayan
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom11 September 2012

Controversial Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno has formally resigned, amid reports of his supposed attempt to enter the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's condominium.

At the same time, Puno explained the chronology of events of the day of his supposed entry attempt, which was just hours after Robredo's plane reportedly crashed off Masbate.

"As Undersecretary for Peace and Order in the DILG, I am entrusted with duties and responsibilities that involve strict confidence, security and protocol," Puno said in his statement.

"Violating the confidential nature of my duties may expose people to danger or jeopardize critical operations.  Hence, I am duty-bound to act with restraint and circumspection, even when subjected to personal attacks in the mass media," Puno, who spoke on the issue for the first time said.

"This is why I have opted not to react to the speculative accusations that have been hurled against me by some media organizations," Puno added.

Reports claim Robredo ordered a probe on Puno's multi-million transaction on guns for the Philippine National Police two weeks before the crash. The CAAP however dismissed foul play in Robredo's crash.

In another statement, Puno boasted of DILG improvements under his watch.

"We have introduced reforms to ensure full transparency of procurement and bidding processes. We have streamlined these processes to achieve the President’s objective of getting “the biggest bang for the buck” in providing basic equipment for enabling our uniformed personnel to perform their tasks effectively," said Puno in a statement posted in the President's fanpage.

"I believe that I have carried out my assigned duties to the best of my ability," Puno added. Malacanang, thru presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, announced Aquino also accepted Puno's resignation "immediately."

Yahoo! Southeast Asia is posting in full Puno's chronology of events, on the day of the supposed break-in attempt. (Posted verbatim from Puno's statement)

This is the chronology of events that transpired on August 18 and 19, 2012 as I followed the orders of the President:

 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

2045 H  (8:45 pm) Boarded the Cebu Pacific flight to Manila
(Mactan Cebu  When I was about to board, the President called and
International  Airport) instructed me to secure the offices of Secretary Robredo. I relayed the instructions to Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, deputy chief of the Office of Internal Security in Secretary Robredo’s office. 

2230 H (10:30 pm) Arrived in Manila
(NAIA 3 Terminal) 

2330 H (11:30 pm) Proceeded to the PNP Director-General’s Quarters
PNP Director-General’s Among those present there were Usec. Austere Quarters, Camp Crame Panadero, PNP Director-General Nicanor Bartolome, Ms. “White House” Joan de la Cruz, a member of Secretary Robredo’s staff and S/Supt. Tanseco.

The President called again and I reported the offices have been secured.

Sunday, August 19

0900 H (9:00 am) Supervised sealing of  Secretary Robredo’s Office at DILG Quezon City accompanied by the following:

S/Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, Chief Inspector Apollo Togonon and other security officers of Sec. Robredo.

0930 H (9:30 am) Informed by Superintendent Tanseco that there were documents inside the residence/condominium of the Secretary.

1000 H (10:00 am) Led team to secure Secretary Robredo’s condominium unit; stayed in condominium lobby; instructed team to sign condominium log book to document our presence; left condominium after about 20 minutes.

1030 H (10:30 am) Arrived at Camp Crame and supervised sealing of Secretary Robredo’s office; left Camp Crame after about 15 minutes.

1130 H (11:30 am) Arrived at National Police Commission (Napolcom) building in Makati City; supervised sealing of Secretary Robredo’s office; left after about 20 minutes.

1500 H (3:30 pm) Accompanied Secretary of Justice and Presidential Security Group team that performed inspection, sealing and securing of Secretary Robredo’s: a) DILG office; b) condominium unit; c) Camp Crame office; and d) Napolcom office. Entire operations were completed at around 7:00 pm.