By Xave Gregorio
In a slip of the tongue, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sack a man heading a government agency.
“I was tasked to announce that he was terminated,” Roque said, which was quickly followed by “Oops.”
Roque was set to announce Duterte’s first sacked official for 2018, but was told to postpone the announcement as the President is still reviewing the agency’s legislative charter.
He clarified, however, that the said official is not yet terminated until a formal announcement is made.
Roque said that the official set to be sacked is not from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) or the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), which are both mired in controversy.
The Ombudsman suspended last December 2017 all ERC commissioners for allowing Meralco to bypass the bidding of their power supply requirements.
“Wala naman pong dapat sibakin doon sa sinasabi mong ahensiya, suspendido na po nga sila eh ano,” Roque said.
“Ang problema anong gagawin pagkatapos ‘no, pero pinag-aaralan pa po ‘yan ng Office of the Executive Secretary,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the PCSO is still in hot waters after its newly appointed director Sandra Cam revealed that the agency spent P10 million for its Christmas party.
“[President Duterte] holds in high esteem both the GM of PCSO and Director Sandra Cam whom he recently appointed to the post,” Roque said.
“I can make the confirmation that the official who I was tasked to announce and may belatedly told to hold in abeyance is not from the PCSO.”
However, Roque did not answer if the male official who Duterte will fire is Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) Administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III.
Amaro has been accused by Marina employees that he is an “absentee administrator” who reportedly took 11 trips in 2017, which has left them demoralized.
This is more than the seven foreign trips taken by former Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chair Terry Ridon, who Duterte sacked for allegedly taking junket trips.
Roque, however, assured that the President is “always looking” at complaints forwarded to him.