Malacañang leaves it to PAO Chief to decide on resigning amid corruption complaint
Marje Pelayo • August 15, 2019 • 808
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is letting Atty. Persida Acosta to decide on whether or not to resign as Chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) following complaints of corruption.
PAO lawyers filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the PAO Chief and forensics chief Erwin Erfe of corrupt practices in relation to the disbursements and allocation of the PAO budget.
Acosta and Erfe allegedly committed a ‘systematic scheme’ in diverting P13 million of the agency’s budget for office supplies for drafting Dengvaxia-related cases.
Presidential Spokesman Secretary Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said that knowing President Rodrigo Duterte, his trust in his officials remains unless reports of irregularities are proven.
“Si President, hangga’t walang findings of probable cause, palaging andun ang trust (President (Duterte’s) trust on a person remains unless there is no finding of a probable cause),” Panelo said.
“Pero kung may probable cause na, ibang usapan iyon, then there will be suspension galing sa Ombudsman. Hindi naman teritoryo ni president iyon (But once a probable cause is established, that’s a different story. There will be suspension coming from the Ombudsman. It is no longer the President’s territory),” the Palace Spokesman concluded. – MNP (with details from Mai Bermudez)
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered stricter implementation of road safety checks after a private truck fell into a ravine in South Cotabato on Tuesday (September 17).
Based on reports, 21 people were killed while 14 others were injured due to the South Cotabato mishap.
According to the Department of Transportation (Dotr), officials from several departments had a meeting with the president on Wednesday (September 18).
The chief executive has ordered to intensify roadworthiness checks, improve driver’s licensing requirements, periodic drug testing, and financial capability checks for operators.
“The chief executive pushed for the urgent nationwide implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve the level of safety and security of passengers,” the Dotr said in a statement on Facebook.
Duterte has also emphasized that private vehicles used beyond their legitimate purpose should be banned.
Vehicles should also have proper road safety equipment and facilities while operators who do not have the financial capability for safety improvements should cease to operate.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department will improve on road safety through various programs including Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS).
“Ilang buhay na naman ‘ho ang nawala sa atin. Itigil na ang kawalan ng disiplina. Itigil na ang pagiging pabaya sa kalsada. Sa utos ng ating Pangulo, sisikapin naming masiguro na tanging mga roadworthy vehicles lang ang bibiyahe sa kalsada, at lahat ng driver ay may sapat na kaalaman at disiplina sa pagmamaneho, (Several lives have already been lost. Let us stop the lack of discipline. Stop recklessness on the road. According to our President’s order, let us strive to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles should operate and all drivers should have discipline in driving),” Tugade said.—AAC
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