Duterte asks Roque to defer announcement of official to be sacked
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his spokesman to defer the announcement of the appointed official who was supposed to be fired.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said that the official was not from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, which spent P6 million for its last year's Christmas party.
"As of 7:00 this morning, I read a text instructing me to hold in abeyance announcement of who it is that the President will sack next. Of course, this is not the first time it has happened. When he announced that he will fire an entire commission, he did not mention which commission first and it took couple of days before I was authorized to make the announcement," he said.
"So although I was directed to announce as early as (December) 30, the instruction was to announce in our next press briefing, which is today. But of course, at the beginning of the day, I was asked to defer with the said announcement," Roque explained.
He said Duterte did not provide any reason for his order to hold in abeyance the announcement of the official to be dismissed.
But Roque added that when he inquired from the Presidential Management Staff, he was told that the President was given a copy of the legislative charter of the agency headed by the officer supposed to be fired.
"And the president was reviewing the legislative charter of that agency," he said.
Asked if the official was from the PCSO, Roque said, "I can make the confirmation that the official who I was tasked to announce and belatedly told to hold in abeyance is not from the PCSO."
Newly-appointed PCSO Director Sandra Cam disclosed last December the lavish Christmas party of the PCSO.
She cricitized the board of the PCSO for holding a P10-million Christmas party in a five-star hotel. She did not attend the party.
PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said that the agency only spent P6 million and that the employees deserved the party after they worked hard last year.
Roque said Duterte holds in high esteem Balutan and Cam, who was recently appointed at PCSO. Celerina Monte/DMS