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No word yet on Rio resignation

Francis Wakefield

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Chief Legal Counsel and presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said there is no word yet if President Rodrigo Duterte has already accepted Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio’s resignation over the alleged misuse of the department’s intelligence funds.

Panelo made the remark when asked during a telephone interview if the Chief Executive has already made a decision about the matter.

“None yet. I already sent him Rio’s resignation letter but he has not said anything about it,” Panelo said.  “I will ask the President later on. We still have to talk.”

In a previous interview, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) which is under the Office of the President, can conduct an investigation on the allegations made by the resigned DICT undersecretary.

“If need be. Remember, the presidential anti-graft is under the OP so that is one body that could conduct the investigation. I don’t think they need… they could investigate motu propio,” Nograles said.

“They can (investigate) if they feel that there is a need to. Their mandate is there. So it is up to them. And it is part of the mechanism that was set in place precisely to prevent graft and corruption especially under the official family of the president,” he added.

Nograles also said that instead of going to the PACC, Rio could also personally go to President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the matter.

“It is really up to him. What I am saying is Malacañang, the President said, Malacañang is always open to receiving complaints,” Nograles said.

“I am sure since Usec. Rio is part of the Executive Branch before, I am sure he knows how to reach the President. If he needs to see the President, I know he knows what to do,” he added.

Nograles said the President is always open to meeting anybody especially those who has complaints in government.

The Commission on Audit has already asked for a full accounting of the P300 million cash advance made by DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan in the last two months of the past year.

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