Fired FDA head "clueless" on corruption allegations
Dismissed Food and Drugs Administration ( FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno said on Friday she was "clueless" about corruption allegations hurled against her.
President Rodrigo Duterte fired Puno due to alleged corruption.
In the letter sent to Puno on May 15, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea did not mention the supposed corruption that the former FDA chief was supposed to be involved in.
Medialdea just mentioned that Puno's termination was in line with Duterte's "continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worth of public trust.
Puno, in a statement, said as a presidential appointee, she served at the pleasure of the President, thus, she accepted her termination from government "without ill-feelings."
"However, I take exception to the mention of so-called 'corruption allegations' because I am clueless as to what these are. I have not been charged in any legal proceedings nor am I aware of any official investigations being undertaken in relation to corruption involving me," she said.
But if there would be allegations forthcoming, she said she was more than ready to face them in any forum.
Puno said she served FDA as director general for two years and 10 months "with complete honesty, diligence, dedication and loyalty."
Prior to her appointment in 2016, she was in the private sector.
"I am therefore completely unfamiliar with the political maneuverings in the bureaucracy," she said.
She cited some of the FDA accomplishments under her watch, such as the agency's gaining of 3 ISO certifications; decentralization and regionalization of the FDA; digitalization of its registration processes; and the support to micro, small and medium enterprises in a joint effort with the Department of Trade and Industry, among others.
"I leave FDA with a clear conscience and what I believe to be a clean record. It is completely unnecessary to sully the personal and professional reputations of people who sacrifice to render public service," Puno said. Celerina Monte/DMS