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Duterte may forgive fired asec — Palace

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Duterte may forgive fired asec â Palace
“Well, maybe the President is not vindictive. He may forgive somebody if he asks for forgiveness,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte may forgive former Department of Transportation (DOTr) assistant secretary Mark Tolentino after he apologized for embarrassing the chief executive in relation to the Mindanao railway project to be funded by China.

“Well, maybe the President is not vindictive. He may forgive somebody if he asks for forgiveness,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

Duterte fired Tolentino last week.

But Roque also pointed out that the President is keen on making sure that everybody follows his directives, especially in peddling influence from his family and relatives pertaining to deals with government.

“Pero kinakailangan po na manindigan ang Presidente na ang lumalabag sa kaniyang directive na hindi dapat makipag-ugnayan sa kaniyang mga kamag-anak ay masisibak sa puwesto,” he said.

Roque noted that the President wants to live by example that he does not tolerate shenanigans in government, whether or not these people are close friends, allies or relatives.

He said they should serve as models so that nobody would involve the President’s relatives in any government contract.

Last Friday, Tolentino admitted to mentioning the first family during a press conference on May 18, which he said embarrassed the President.

“Sa hindi sinasadyang kadahilanan, nabanggit ko po ang first family sa Q&A section during my press con last week, May 18, 2018. Dahil po doon, I put the President in an embarrassing situation,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino also talked about delays in the Mindanao project, which is reportedly a subject of a loan from China. 

The official said he relayed to a relative of the President that the loan is not needed because the government has set aside a P36-billion budget for the Mindanao railways, which completion is eyed by 2022.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

MARK TOLENTINO

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