Updated — No less than President Rodrigo Duterte had asked Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corp (PNOC-EC) president and CEO Pedro Aquino according to reports on Tuesday.
In a statement, Aquino confirmed that it was indeed the President who asked him to resign following his 30-day suspension by the board of directors of the PNOC-EC over an investment deal with Russian firm Rosneft Oil Company.
“I was asked by the President to submit my resignation effective Monday, 14 October,” said Aquino, but he refused to elaborate other details.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo also confirmed that Duterte asked Aquino to step down from his post for “loss of confidence.”
“The President’s order is still in line and pursuant to his anti-corruption campaign in the government, and underscores once again that there are no sacred cows under this Administration,” said Panelo.
The Palace official reiterated Duterte’s order “to all officials and employees of the government to undertake actions which are only pursuant to what the law provides in the performance of their official functions and desist from committing any act that are — or may appear to be — irregular, illegal or dishonest,” he added.
The Department of Energy, on the other hand, said that it would release a statement on the matter on Wednesday.