Duterte says he asked NIA head Lavina to resign
President Rodrigo Duterte said he asked National Irrigation Administrator Peter Lavina to resign after rumors of graft spread.
In an ambush interview in Cebu on Thursday, Duterte admitted it hurt him to ask a friend to quit.
But, Duterte said, “this (government position) is not for profit. “
“Don’t embarrass me. If you embarrass me, let’s part ways,” said Duterte. Duterte did not say when he met Lavina.
Lavina, Duterte’s spokesman during the 2016 presidential campaign, quit on Wednesday after around three months in office.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco said it is "with deep regret that our office receives this news and wishes him well in his next endeavors."
He cited that Lavina’s resignation was accepted "to spare the president from any embarrassment."
In a post in his Facebook account, Lavina said he has been vilified in the past, his name used, abused and maligned.
Recently, he said there had been efforts to discredit him again, citing rumors circulating that he had asked money from NIA contractors.
"These are not true! To spare the President from these embarrassing stories, particularly in these times of intensified attacks on him, I have quietly left government. I have neither personal vested interest in it nor ill intent towards NIA and the whole government, which we are trying to reform," Lavina said. Celerina Monte/DMS