Malacañang is not seeing anything wrong with Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino going around different provinces over the past few months.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said there should be no issue since Tolentino’s recent escapades were part of his official functions as Metro Manila czar.
“Sa pagkabatid po natin ay nakatuon ang pansin ng Metro Manila Development Authority sa pangunguna ni Chairman Francis Tolentino sa pagtugon sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan sa kanilang sinasakupan na National Capital Region,” Coloma said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Lahat naman po ng pagkilos ng mga miyembro ng Gabinete ay sakop ng official authority nila,” he added.
Coloma responded to allegations that Tolentino has been using government funds for his apparent provincial sorties, which allegedly include frequent stint as judge of local beauty contests.
Tolentino was also previously criticized for supposedly bringing his throng of MMDA minions when he judged a beauty pageant in Daet, Camarines Norte.
The Palace official merely brushed off allegations against Tolentino citing the latter’s efforts in helping local government units in strengthening disaster preparedness and response capabilities.
“Baka po gusto nating mabatid na marami ng mga local government ang tinutulungan ng MMDA sa pagpapalakas ng kanilang disaster risk reduction capability,” said Coloma.
“Humihingi po sila ng ayuda at guidance dahil ‘yung MMDA ay mayroon pong mas advanced na kapasidad o kapabilidad tungkol diyan,” he added.
Coloma likewise said Tolentino’s frequent provincial visit was part of the implementation of the resolution to adopt sister towns and cities in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda.
Tolentino, who was a three-term mayor of Tagaytay City, is one of the officials in the Aquino Cabinet who expressed intention to run as senator in the 2016 elections.
He is expected to run under the administration ticket.
[bctt tweet=”Palace: MMDA chief’s town-hopping not part of early campaigning”]