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Pwersahan na! CHED exec asks Duterte to appoint Popoy de Vera as OIC as Licuanan refuses to quit


The highest ranking career officer within the Commission on Higher Education has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint newly installed Commissioner Prospero “Popoy” de Vera as officer in charge of the agency as chairperson Patricia Licuanan continues to hold on to her post.

In a letter sent to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Dec. 9, CHED executive director IV Julito Vitriolo said Licuanan “can no longer be effective in view of irreconcilable differences as well as her failure to tender her courtesy resignation,” an act which he said is “tantamount to gross insubordination” and constitutes “serious grounds for the loss of trust and confidence in her as Cabinet Secretary.”

Vitriolo said Duterte’s order for Licuanan to stop attending Cabinet meetings has put CHED in peril as it appears she is “usurping the authority and power of the CHED chairmanship” since it is obvious that the President no longer has trust and confidence in her.

The CHED official asked Duterte to intervene to protect the agency “against the stubborn and recalcitrant self-interest of just one person.”

While he did not mention De Vera’s name in the letter, Vitriolo said: “We humbly request that to stabilize the situstion in the Commission and thus, gain back its credibility and respect from stakeholders, the Office of the President now designates in the interim the newly appointed Conmissioner to act as Officer-in-Charge who enjoys your trust and confidence, pending the appointment of a regular chairperson of your own choice to truly act as your alter-ego in the Commission…”

De Vera took his oath as CHED commissioner last Sept. 12. Licuanan, meanwhile, has maintained she has the right to stay on in her post because she has a fixed term until 2018.

Vitriolo asked that Duterte act on his request as soon as possible because his decision will determine of Licuanan can still call CHED officials for a National Directorate meeting scheduled on Dec. 12 to 13.

Aside from appointing an OIC, Vitriolo asked Duterte to appoint three new Commissioners at the soonest possible time since De Vera, his lone appointee so far, “is the only one openly and aggressively pursuing your programs in the Commission.”

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