Panelo defends Duterte's
Malacanang defended on Friday the reappointment of some government officials, who either quit or were removed from their posts.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said those who were reappointed were not tainted with corruption, contrary to the claim of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
"The officials who were either removed or resigned from their posts and appointed to other positions were not tainted with corruption during their stint in their offices. It just happened that their expertise and talents were not suited to their previous positions; hence, their re-appointment to their present offices that will showcase their competence," he said.
He added it was President Rodrigo Duterte's prerogative as head of the executive branch to give posts to some former officials.
In an interview on One News Channel, Morales expressed hope that when Duterte said he wants to fight corruption, he was serious about it.
But while it was Duterte's prerogative to reappoint individuals, such as former Customs Commissioner and now Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon and former Social Security Commissioner and now Agriculture Assistant Secretary Jose Gabriel La Vi?a, his anti-corruption campaign was in question, Morales said.
Faeldon was pressured to resign following reports that P6.4 billion shabu shipment slipped past the Manila port in 2017. La Vi?a, on the other hand, was terminated at SSS because of the alleged abuse of public funds.
Panelo said Duterte never reappointed those who were stained with corruption even if they were his long time friends, allies, co-fraternity members, and others who have relations with him.
He claimed that there are no sacred cows in the Duterte administration.
"We understand the expression of disappointment of former Ombudsman Morales on the acquittal of the accused in plunder and graft related cases. But contrary to the perception by some that she is blaming the dismissal of those cases to the current administration, she is not, and she said so herself when asked by this representation," said Panelo, the chief presidential legal counsel.
He said everyone must abide by the rule of law as the courts decide on the basis of evidence and "we must accept its verdict no matter how much we disagree with it."
"We can not be ruled by our emotions, otherwise there will be chaos," he said.
"We are certain that the present Ombudsman must have wised up to the legal debacles that his office lost and learned from the lessons presented to it," he said, referring to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Manuel Martires. Celerina Monte/DMS