CAGAYAN DE ORO

Info chief: corruption accusations baseless

THE Philippine Information Agency's (PIA) director general, Harold Clavite, has maintained that corruption allegations against him are attempts to silence and stop him from uncovering the irregularities inside the agency.

In a press conference in Cagayan de Or on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Clavite said an insignificant number of people in PIA are trying to destroy him after launching a fact-finding investigation to probe alleged abuses, particularly in financial processes that has been going on for years.

He said he initiated this investigation in September 2018, and from then on, some people are going around in PIA attached agencies, provincial and regional offices with the message that Clavite is corrupt.

“This demolition job against me have started going underground since March of 2019, there are key people leading this effort to silence me and when the time comes, I will name some of them,” he said.

Clavite said he is however ready to face these allegations and be investigated by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) as long as he is “assured of objectivity.”

The PCOO had received anonymous letters with attached documents against Clavite in May. The letters accused Clavite of corruption.

Clavite is given until June 13, 2019 to explain the following: alleged splitting of contract for the purchase of “Asean Komiks,” misuse of funds for hotel accommodations, irregularities in production of information materials for the Employees’ Compensation Program and irregularities in the airing of a government promotional material called “Like Pinas.”

Clavite also called out the PCOO for appearing “too eager” to issue public statements.

“It is interesting to note that when I sent a complaint to the office of the Executive Secretary through the Office of the Secretary of PCOO in relation to some irregularities in PIA, the PCOO did not take any action, and while an anonymous letter was sent to their office they quickly declare probable cause without talking to me,” he said.

He said the PCOO should maintain its objectivity amid these allegations.

Clavite said the PCOO could have been “circumspect in the language they use to the public.”

As of this writing, Clavite said he has ordered all the offices and concerned departments of PIA to explain these allegations and then will send his official reply to PCOO.

“It is unfortunate that a few people want to silence me because I have seen several things and my goal is to fix the system, the process, and I cannot allow being the head of agency to allow these things to continue,” he added.


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