FILE PHOTO: PCA administrator Avelino Andal
The Philippine Coconut Authority board has suspended PCA administrator Avelino Andal following reports of alleged corruption in his agency.
Promptly after the flag raising ceremony this morning, USEC. Halmen Valdez announced Andal’s suspension in front of PCA employees.
Valdez said, the board has received numerous affidavits and sworn statements and even receipt from andal’s trusted employees, related to the alleged illegal collection of P1.50 per board foot of lumber in Basilan.
The statements point to Andal as the mastermind of such scheme.
Valdez added that P1.50 per board foot seems small, but with 400 thousand trees set to be cut down due to the effects of ‘cocolisap’, it could actually reach around P90-M in Basilan alone; other areas include Mindoro, Marinduque and Quezon.
“Kapag director ka, pwede kang tanggalin for cause. Hindi mo kailangan ng TRO, hindi mo kailangan ng preventive suspension. Wala kang kailangan pwede kang matanggal agad-agad, but the CabSec chose to order a preventive suspension para mabigyan po ng pagkakataon ang mga kasali sa usapin nag magpaliwanag,” said undersecretary Halmen Valdez.
(If you’re a director, you can be relieved for cause. You don’t need TRO (temporary restraining order), you don’t need preventive suspension. You may be removed immediately, but the CabSec chose to order a preventive suspension to give parties involved a chance to explain.)
But Andal has denied the allegation and questioned the process carried out by the board in passing the resolution suspending him.
He said he was not given time to explain before the suspension.
“Sa dokumento walang nagsasabi na ako ang mastermind. because to be a mastermind you have to show proof, kahit yung mga perang ipinadala nung mga kausap nung aking tao doon sa area ay hindi naman nakapangalan sa akin kundi nakapangalan din sa kanila (No part of the document says that I’m the mastermind, because to be a mastermind you have to show proof. Even the money that was sent by individuals to my men in the area, were not addressed to me but to them also) ,” said Andal.
Andal is accusing USEC. Valdez of orchestrating his ouster like what she allegedly did to heads of the National Irrigation Administration and National Food Authority.
On the other hand, USEC. Valdez said Andal is only sourgraping.
The board has assigned Deputy Admin Glen Santos to replace Andal but the administrator said, he will not step down until he is given due process. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue