PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he forced Information and Communications Secretary Rodolfo Salalima to resign because of complaints regarding his alleged preferential treatments to some "giant" telecommunication companies.
The President said he did not want to pass judgment on Salalima but he noticed that the latter seemed to have shortcomings as head of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
He clarified, however, that he was not accusing Salalima of being involved in corrupt activities.
"There are many complaints so I asked someone to tell Rudy (Salalima) to resign. Many complained to me that he appeared to be partial because he's a former vice president of Globe. I'm not saying he’s protecting other giant telecommunications in China [or] Singapore but there's no action [on his part]," he said.
"I know him. I'm not saying he's corrupt… In fairness to him, I'm not saying [he's corrupt]; it seems to him he was favoring a company," Duterte added.
On September 21, Malacañang said Salalima resigned because of "personal and work-related" reasons.
Salalima, on the other hand, cited "corruption and interference" as reasons behind his resignation from office last September 5.
In an exclusive interview with Sun.Star Davao on August 27, Duterte reportedly confirmed that Salalima was among the two public officials he wanted to remove from office because of "conflict of interest."
Salalima was not the first presidential appointee to give up position in the government.
Apart from Salalima, Vice President Leni Robredo (former housing czar), Peter Laviña (former National Irrigation administrator), and Ismael Sueno (former Local Government Secretary) also tendered their respective resignations.
Duterte earlier claimed he had fired Laviña and Sueno over corruption allegations.
Malacañang had said the President is still looking for the next Information and Communications Technology Secretary, whom he could give his full trust and confidence. (SunStar Philippines)