President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration Director-General Nela Charade Puno due to graft and corruption, the Palace announced on Thursday.
“Please be advised that, upon instructions of the President, your appointment as director general of the Food and Drugs Authority, Department of Health is hereby terminated, effective immediately,” Panelo said, reading out the letter to Palace reporters.
According to the letter, Puno’s termination was “in line with the President’s continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust.”
To assure uninterrupted delivery of services to the public, the Palace demanded Puno to turn over necessary documents for a smooth transition.
“You are hereby directed to immediately turn over all official documents, papers, and properties in your possession to the Office of the Undersecretary for Health Regulation, Department of Health,” the letter read.
Asked to elaborate on the President’s order of termination to Puno, the Palace official was mum on giving any explanation, stressing he was only tasked to read the letter.
The letter, signed on Wednesday, May 15, was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Before flying to Beijing last month for a forum, the President hinted that he would fire many government officials because of corruption.
But he was not able to transmit the letters of dismissal he once promised to give to the public.
Puno was the second government official to have vacated the Duterte administration following the resignation of former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander Balutan.
The Chief Executive has always reiterated his call to the public to be assertive in reporting corrupt activities in the bureaucracy, keeping his promise not to tolerate even a “whiff of corruption” under his administration.
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