MANILA Living up to his promise not to tolerate public officials dealing with his relatives, President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked an assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) for dealing with his relative, Malacanang announced Monday.
We would like to announce that the President has terminated the services of assistant secretary Mark Tolentino for having dealings with a presidential sister, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
Roque did not give further details about the transactions but said the firing of Tolentino was another proof that Duterte is serious in his campaign against graft and corruption particularly involving his relatives.
The reminder of the President is no one in the government entertain any relative of the President in connection with any matter that has to do with government, Roque said.
Once you talked to any relative of the President, that would be the basis for you to be removed from service, he added.
Aside from dealing with a presidential sister, Tolentino, Roque said, was apparently involved in other issues including using the First Family to justify the Mindanao railway project.
Roque also warned the public including judges and justices not to entertain a "judiciary fixer" whom he described as current partner of the former daughter-in-law of the President.
He did not give names but the President's eldest son, Paolo Duterte's ex-wife Lovelie Sangkola, is now married to RJ Sumera.
Lovelie and Paolo separated in 2005 and had two children Isabelle and Omar. Paolo is also presently married to January Navares and has two children with her.
Roque said Lovelie's husband has been using the names of the President and his granddaughter Isabelle to allegedly fix cases with judges and justices.
He is the husband of ex-wife of the son of the President. He is using the name of granddaughter of the President to fix cases. To the justices and judges, do not entertain this fixer, Roque warned.
He is not a relative of the President. It's sad but he is using the name of presidential daughter. We can do nothing about it but he has no authority to use the names of the President and his granddaughter, he added.
Roque called on the justices and judges to report to Malacanang if Sumera is dealing with them.
So our appeal to the justices and judges, report it to Malacanang. Do not allow him. He is not the real relative of the President. The President is not tolerating it, he said.
Roque also announced that another government official is set to resign on Tuesday.
I will announce it tomorrow since resignation letter will be submitted tomorrow, he said.
In a Cebu event on Sunday, Duterte said he is set to fire five government officials this week as he reiterated his determination to fight graft and corruption.
The President is serious. Do not talk any matter concerning the government. You will get sacked if you do, Roque warned. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency