New MinDA chair remains mum on Acosta termination

MinDA Chair Leo Tereso Magno says he respects the former chair’s decision to seek legal remedies
New MinDA chair remains mum on Acosta termination

NEWLY-APPOINTED chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Leo Tereso Magno has still refused to comment on the termination of Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, who assumed as MinDA chair for only two years.

In Wednesday’s Habi at Kape on June 19, 2024, Magno, who is also the secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (Opamine), his respect for the decision of Acosta to seek legal remedies including the motion for reconsideration against him will still be his standpoint at this stage.

“Paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, while I respect [former] Secretary Mabel’s right to seek legal remedy, at alam ko nag-file na sya ng kaso. Yung status ng kaso, di ko naman memoryado kasi sila na ng korte ang nag-uusap (I keep saying, while I respect [former] Secretary Mabel's right to seek legal remedy, and I know she has already filed a case. As for the status of the case, I do not remember because it’s been them who are talking with the court)," the official said.

Magno added that he has constitutional duties to govern and meddling in the situation is not his priority, saying “I repeat this, I have office to fulfill. I took my oath as secretary. Kung hindi ko gagawin yan (If I will not do it) I will be remiss on my responsibility to you and to the whole Mindanao.”

He also clarified that there were no tensions inside the office contrary to the speculations and rumors upon his assumption to office.

“I am very thankful for the professionalism that the different department heads and all the employees have shown to me in MinDA. I can really say that MinDA is a professionally run office,” he said.

On June 7, the Mindanao-based government office urged Acosta to hand over all belongings and assets of the agency, including her Google Drive accounts, where most papers and archives were digitally stored, despite her claim of pending legal matters that have yet to be resolved by the Davao court.

“In view of the appointment of Secretary Leo Tereso A. Magno as the new MinDA Chairperson, we are respectfully requesting the turnover of all MinDA properties issued to you during your term and are still currently in your possession,” the letter said, signed by Cecilia Trino, chief administrative officer, Administrative Division of MinDA.

To recall, days after her termination, Acosta told the public that she is determined to pursue legal action due to her unjustified termination.

“Now I am constrained to seek legal remedy so as not to hinder the regular operations of this office. There are bills to attend to. Financial obligations to be set aside.Salaries to be paid. Decisions to be made. Plans, programs, projects, and policies to be crafted or implemented. Items to be procured." DEF

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