DILG chief fired by Duterte over ‘loss of trust, confidence’

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Tuesday morning confirmed that Interior and Local Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno has been dismissed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Abella said Duterte cited “loss of trust and confidence” as reason for the official’s dismissal.

Sueno’s dismissal from office was announced at the end of the 14th Cabinet meeting on Monday, which he also attended.

“The President had earlier asked a few questions of Mr. Sueno but the summary dismissal served as a warning that Mr. Duterte would not countenance any questionable or legally untenable decisions by any member of the Cabinet,” Abella said.
Sueno has been accused of corruption by three Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretaries—John Castriciones (operations), Jesus Hinlo (public safety) and Emilie Padilla (legislative liaison and special concerns).
The DILG chief, however, denied allegations and even challenged the three officials to investigate him.
“Ako mismo ang i-investigate nila… Ako, gusto ko i-investigate nila. Ako na imbestigahan nila kung may nakuha ba ako, may mga komisyon ba ako, may mga kontrata ako na pumapasok na kami ang nagde-decide?” Sueno said.
With the infighting in the agency, Sueno wrote to Duterte Sueno detailing his sentiments and citing “irreconcilable differences” with his subordinates.
The interior secretary also said in a radio interview Monday he is trying to find out if the three undersecretaries are involved in corruption.
“Yan din ang ano ko [inaalam ko]. Gusto nila i-control ako e,” he said on dzMM.
Some of the allegations thrown against Sueno are his supposed abuse of power, questionable wealth, the alleged acquisition of a new hotel, his grandson’s alleged involvement in illegal gambling and a supposedly anomalous fire truck deal with the Austrian government.
Sueno said he pursued the fire truck deal with the Austrian government and personally went to Austria despite a pending case at the Supreme Court since it was already a “done deal” during the time of former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
He argued that the Rossenbauer fire trucks had more accessories than its Chinese fire truck firm competitor, which could be verified by assessing the acquired trucks.
Sueno, Castriciones, Hinlo and Padilla campaigned for Rodrigo Duterte last year and are all members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Council Committee.
The DILG chief was also instrumental in convincing Duterte to join the presidential race.
Abella, however, said the president is serious about his anti-corruption campaign. He said the fact that Sueno campaigned for Duterte would not deter the president “from pursuing his drive for a trustworthy government by addressing issues like corruption.”
source: philstar.com



Most Popular

To Top