PASAY CITY, Philippines — Loss of trust and confidence.
President Rodrigo Duterte said this was the reason why he dismissed Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the President is serious in eradicating corruption in all agencies to gain public trust.
“Apparently the President has done due diligence. He has checked into the matter and he has taken note of several legally untenable situation,” he said.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is not convinced by Duterte’s reasons.
He describes Sueno’s dismissal as a political convenience so that the administration can easily put in place another person who they want to hold the position.
“Political convenience iyan, na gagamitin nila, iii-spin nila para may anti-corruption drive na nangyari… I believe mayroon silang gusto i-appoint diyan sa DILG pagka natapos na iyong ban(That is a political convenience that they will use and spin to appear that there has been an anti-corruption drive that happened. I believe, they have someone in mind to be placed at DILG after the appointment ban lapsed) ,” Sen. Trillanes said.
There have been rumors that the DILG post might be given to former Senator Bongbong Marcos after election ban in May. But Sec. Abella denied this and said Malacañang has not yet chosen another appointee.
“There has been no comment, no mention and absolutely no reference to him as far as the Cabinet is concerned.”
While Sen. Trillanes is doubting the timing of Sueno’s dismissal, he said he does not believe it has anything to do with the proposed cancellation of barangay elections in October, and move to extend the appointive powers of President to positions in the local government.
This is in light of Duterte’s allegations that 40 to 60% of LGU officials are involved in drugs.
“They want total control of the political apparatus of society. So, ito iyong pinaka-convenient na way [ So, this is the most convenient way],” Trillanes said.
Sen. Francis Chiz Escudero also does not support such measure and said the administration should show evidence against local government officials.
“Patunayan muna na ganoon karaming barangay ang apektado ng problema sa droga na ipinapangunahan o promotor ay barangay chairman mismo (It should be proved first that there so many cases of drug trade in the country that is involving a barangay chairman),” Sen. Escudero said. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue
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