MANILA -- Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno said Wednesday that he will stay on at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DLIG) despite black propaganda from "powerful interest groups" who want to embarrass the Aquino administration.

Puno was named as "ultimate recipient" of jueteng payola in a list of alleged jueteng operators and coddlers submitted to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee at an earlier hearing.

But Puno said he sees the allegations against him as a "personal challenge to roll up my sleeves and walk the walk".

“I will not be cowed and destroyed by these sectors,” he told senators.

He said he would continue to serve President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III unless the President tells him to step down.

He added he did not and will never receive a single centavo from jueteng or any other illegal activity. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)