Duterte fires housing exec
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has fired the No. 2 official of the government's top housing body for alleged corruption.
In a statement, Malacañang spokesman Salvador Panelo said the axing of Falconi Millar, Secretary of General of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), was sync with the administration's anti-corruption drive.
"There are no sacred cows in the administration, especially its drive against corruption. As the President said, he will not tolerate even a whiff of corruption in the executive branch of the government, "he said.
Panelo did not go into details on Millar's alleged misdeeds.
Eduardo del Rosario, denied being involved in corruption, was a lawyer and certified public accountant who worked under HUDCC.
He said he was resigned on Thursday morning, and was not fired.
"It's an obvious demolition job. In protecting the interest of the government, I have annoyed some personalities, "Millar said in a text message sent to reporters.
'Power corrupted him'
The sacking was confirmed by President Duterte himself, in Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza, Cavite.
Duterte said that before the event, he signed the dismissal of Millar after reviewing the housing official's resumé.
He added that power corrupted Millar, who was in the position to make money out of government deals.
"I do not know, somehow along the way corruption is seeps in and it's hard. When you are there, sec-gen (secretary general), you have the power, authority … Power corrupts, and sometimes you want your money to go into your pocket almost every day, "Duterte said.
Duterte noted corruption in the government, saying he was having a hard time dealing with it.
But he called on the people to "disabuse" their minds of corruption in the executive branch of the government.
"We do not have that here," said Chief Executive.
Marawi task force
Millar was the head of the secretariat of the Task Force "Bangon Marawi," which was formed for the rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City.
The sacking came a few weeks after the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of Marawi's "ground zero."
The groundbreaking had been delayed multiple times.
The panelo said Duterte was "exasperated" by the delays.
On Thursday, he announced that the delivery of the public services provided by HUDCC would "unimpededly continue," particularly in the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Duterte said repeatedly that he would not hesitate to fire government officials linked to corruption.
He has sacked a number of government officials since June 2016 due to excessive foreign trips, as well as alleged corruption.
The list includes the former Department of Interior and Local Government chief Ismael Sueno; National Irrigation Administration chief Peter Lavina; Social Security System commissioner Jose Gabriel "Pompee" Lavina; Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro 3rd and Commission on Higher Education chief Patricia Licuanan.
Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say and Tourism chief Wanda Tulfo-Teo resigned amid corruption allegations.
In August, Malacañang announced Duterte's firing of Brig. Gen. Edwin Torrelavega, the chief of V. Luna Hospital and Col. Antonio Punzalan, head of the logistics office, for allegedly undertaking anomalous purchases of equipment and engaging in fraudulent transactions worth P1,491,570.
Duterte dismissed at the same time the comptroller of the Philippine Military Academy, Hector Marana, for alleged malversation of P15 million worth of allowances of cadets.