Palace: Puno remains DILG undersecretary-A A +A
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
MALACANANG confirmed Tuesday that Undersecretary Rico Puno is still in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The confirmation came after rumors spread that he was leaving the DILG upon the appointment of new head, former senator Manuel Roxas II.
“Well, according to Executive Secretary (Paquito) Ochoa, he is still there,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
Valte also said that Ochoa has yet to receive a copy of the supposed resignation letter of Puno. “I also confirmed with Secretary Ochoa that there is no letter that they have.”
Puno was also present at the House appropriations committee hearing on the DILG budget Tuesday morning together with Ochoa.
In a brief ambush interview, Undersecretary Puno refused to comment on the supposed Department of Agriculture (DA) post offered to him.
“I will wait for the order (of the President),” he said.
Puno also said that he is willing to work with the newly appointed DILG chief.
There were reports that Puno is being forced to leave the DILG as President Benigno Aquino III has given Roxas a free hand to bring in his own trusted people into the agency.
Roxas was appointed to the DILG following the death of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was killed in a plane crash off Masbate on August 18.
During Robredo’s time, Puno has control over the Philippine National Police while Robredo supervised the local government units.
President Aquino earlier said Roxas would now assume both functions.
A post in the DA is reportedly being offered to Puno, who is a shooting buddy and a close friend of Aquino.
Asked if Puno still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President, Valte said: “We have not received any advice to the contrary. Can we just hold off on these sorts of questions? And everything will be announced in time.” (Jill Beltran/ Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)