Power struggle: Bong Go accused of shutting out Jun Evasco and favoring Jason Aquino, Manny Piñol
Bong Go’s choir boy look and silent demeanor are just a front to his backroom maneuvers in the shadowy halls of Malacanang.
This was declared by dismissed Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Valdez, a protege Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, who accused Go of blocking their communication and appointments with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Valdez claimed that Go’s bias against Evasco has led to a situation where Duterte has only heard one side of the raging debate on whether the National Food Authority should import rice or not in the middle of harvest season through farmer importers.
Evasco has pushed for the rice imports but NFA Administrator Jason Aquino and Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol have blocked Evasco’s proposal because the two wanted the rice imports doe through government to government process.
Valdez claimed that through Go’s influence peddling, Evasco’s side was never heard and it led to her firing from the OCS (Office of the Cabinet Secretary) and the NFA Council (NFAC).
Duterte fired Valdez for usurping the powers of Aquino in the NFA Council by railroading the farmer imports and oving to oust Aquino from power. Duterte said that Aquino was his man and that he should decide the NFA import strategy.
In a statement, Valdez said: “All the decisions, resolutions, actions and memoranda of the NFAC and that of the OCS have been duly forwarded to the President. Yet, as a matter of protocol, all these documents and communications have to be coursed through the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP).”
“The NFAC members have also long been requesting for a dialogue with the President, again, through OSAP.This leads us wondering, how come Jason Aquino and Emmanuel Pinol, were able to get direct access to the President, when the Cabsec has been trying to get through the President from the gatekeeper (OSAP), but to no avail?” she said.
She said that this request, “along with the documents submitted by the OCS, which were personally handed down by Cabsec to the head of OSAP, have either failed to reach the President or have been tampered.”
She has accepted the President’s decision to fire her but she would not stop helping her “tatay” and fellow Boholano fight against corruption.
”The Office of the Cabinet Secretary is under attack by some officials who have free access to the President,” said Valdez.
See related stories: