MANILA

Duterte admits firing PNOC-EC chief

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, October 17, revealed that he had axed Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNPC-EC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Pedro Aquino Jr.

Duterte's pronouncement came two days after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced the President's order for Aquino to step down from office.

The President said he dismissed Aquino from service upon learning that the PNOC-EC chief had entered into an "idiotic" oil and gas development deal with Russian oil firm Rosneft.

"I just fired yesterday a subsidiary of PNOC. It's a company. Here is a guy who prepared a contract with the Russians. Well, the Russians thought that was all there is to it," he said at the 45th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Ermita, Manila.

"He wanted now the Board of Trustees to ratify what he prepared. Kaya sabi ko, 'Adre, abugado ka?' Sabi niya, 'Yes.' Sabi ko, 'Anong kalokohan mo na baligtad? (So I told him, 'Are you a lawyer?; He said, 'Yes.' I said, 'What's wrong with you? You made a wrong move')," he added.

Panelo announced on Tuesday, October 15, that the President ordered Aquino to resign after losing confidence in the head of the PNOC-EC.

Duterte's order came after the PNOC-EC signed in 2017 a multilateral agreement on development of multilateral deal with Rosneft, and Hong Kong-based firm Pionaire Finance Limited. (NASE)


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