Rody sacks Noy’s appointees in PCSO
(The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chairman Erineo Maliksi stopped reporting to his office two weeks ago as President Duterte started dismissing the appointees of his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.

Responding to Duterte’s call to step up the fight against corruption, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III announced that two officials of the agency’s central office in Quezon City were relieved from post “due to malpractices” while four regional executives were being probed on corruption allegations.  

For his part, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, an anti-Marcos activist and human rights advocate, warned Duterte’s call on all appointive officials to tender their courtesy resignations was “reminiscent” of an order released during martial law – Letter of Instruction  (LOI) 11 – where due process was not observed.

According to Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, PCSO general manager, a Malacañang official met with Maliksi before Duterte made the public announcement and apparently informed him that he would be replaced.

Rojas said they also received a directive from the Office of the President on Monday night asking members of the board of directors to resign, which was complied with.

He did not name the directors who already tendered their courtesy resignations. According to the PCSO website, the members of its board of directors, aside from Maliksi and Rojas, are Francisco Joaquin, Mabel Mamba, Betty Nantes and Arnel Naidas.

Rojas told the House appropriations committee chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles that being a career officer, he was not covered by the directive.

Aside from being general manager, Rojas is also ex-officio vice chairman of the PCSO.       

He said the charity agency would continue to do its job while awaiting replacements for its directors.

Earlier, the President said he would like a “berdugo” or executioner at the PCSO to rid the agency of corruption.

While Duterte’s Memorandum Circular 4 did not include justices of the Supreme Court unlike Marcos’ LOI 11, Lagman noted striking similarities between the two edicts – their harshness and lack of due process. 

“It (LOI 11) says all officials must submit their resignation letters not later than October 1972. Although this included members of the bench… you could see the similarity, you could see the emerging pattern – the pattern of depriving people of due process,” Lagman lamented.   

While appointees serve at the pleasure of the President, Lagman cited the stigma attached to their resignation, especially since it was made in the context of graft and corruption and they were denied the chance to explain.

Special mention

Duterte made special mention of the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) when he talked about the need to replace appointive officials due to the persistence of graft and corruption in government.

He asked Delgra and LTO chief Edgar Galvante to report to him in Malacañang this week to tackle these problems.

Delgra did not name the two officials relieved during the press conference at the LTFRB’s main office at 1 p.m. yesterday but LTFRB’s record showed that Delgra was referring to Arnel del Rio of the public assistance and complaints desk and Joel Bolano of the technical division.  

Del Rio was relieved in July while Bolano was sacked yesterday. Both were accused of involvement in malpractices, including connections with fixers outside of the LTFRB office.  –With Robertzon Ramirez, Delon Porcalla

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