Maia Chiara Halmen Valdez, who was fired by President Rodrigo Duterte as an executive of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, is distancing herself from Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
In a statement, Valdez said she was not a holdover from the Aquino administration but she was handpicked by Evasco himself (both come from Bohol) to help him “police the ranks” of all 12 agencies under his jurisdiction, including the National Food Authority (NFA).
“I wish to clarify that I NEVER had the chance to work for Sen.Pangilinan, although I used to work for the dissolved Presidential Assistance for Food Security and Agri Modernization prior to my stint as undersecretary for the OCS. I do not hold my post on holdover capacity. I took my oath of office in front of President Duterte last 5 August 2016,” said Valdez.
Pangilinan, the president of the Liberal Party, claimed that he resigned as food czar in September 2015 or months before Valdez joined his previous office.
Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Avelino Andal earlier accused Valdez, Pangilinan and the yellow forces of pushing for his eviction from office for alleged corruption. Evasco ordered Andal’s suspension while Pangilinan sought a Senate probe of Andal’s alleged extortion activities.
Valdez said: “I will not allow my tatay in the government, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco Jr., to be humiliated and maligned in this manner.He, a former priest and rebel, is perhaps the only high ranking official inside the walls of Malacanang who has seen and experienced the plight of the poor first hand.”
Valde was fired by President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday for attempting to usurp the powers of NFA administrator Jason Aquino and railroading the importation of rice through private firms in the middle of this year’s harvest.
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