Baste condemns Acosta’s removal

Is the first Davao City leader to publicly criticize the move of administration to terminate the 2nd female Mindanaoan secretary of MinDa
Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte (left), Mabel Sunga Acosta (right)
Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte (left), Mabel Sunga Acosta (right)Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte/Facebook (left), Mabel Sunga Acosta/Facebook (right)

DAVAO City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte condemns the abrupt removal of Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta as Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairperson, criticizing the decision by Malacañang Palace as groundless and unfair.

Duterte is the first Davao City politician to publicly criticize the move of the administration to terminate the eighth leader and the second female Mindanaoan secretary of the agency.

“I am deeply dismayed by the unjustifiable termination of Secretary Mabel Acosta from her position as Chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) which occurred without fair and transparent procedure or valid rationale. The lack of transparency of Malacañang and the confusion surrounding her removal is deplorable and deeply concerning,” Duterte said on Facebook on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

He underscored Acosta’s excellent qualifications and leadership during her two years in service, noting her background as a former city councilor, academic professor, and journalist.

“The blatant display of vindictiveness by the current administration is deeply troubling and disheartening, as it undermines fundamental principles of fairness and respect for due process. President Ferdinand `Bongbong' [Marcos'] sudden appointment of Mr. Leo Magno to a position that wasn't vacant raises serious concerns about the transparency of decision-making and the treatment of dedicated public servants like Sec. Acosta,” Duterte explained.

On May 13, Marcos appointed Leo Tereso Magno, Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (Opamine), as the new chair of MinDA. This led Acosta to call for a staff meeting and a press conference to address her immediate termination from the six-year post signed by former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Acosta, who continues to report to the MinDA office, is seeking legal remedies. DEF

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