Duterte accepts Dureza quit bid

November 28, 2018
Jesus Dureza
Jesus Dureza

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte announced Tuesday night that he had accepted the resignation of Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza..

“I’m very sad that I accepted the resignation of Secretary Dureza,” Duterte said during the inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

“Well in fairness to Secretary Dureza, wala man siyang ano (he didn’t do anything wrong) maybe because he’s the head of office,” he added.

Duterte said he has fired Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Ronald Flores and OPAPP Assistant Secretary Yeshter Donn P. Baccay a day after mentioning that he will soon fire another executive due to corruption.

Flores is OPAPP Undersecretary for Support Services and PAMANA National Program Manager while Baccay is OPAPP Assistant Secretary for Support Services and PAMANA Concerns.

“And I fired his Usec. si Ronald Flores OPAPP, which is the presidential office for the peace process, and a Director Yeshter Donn Baccay,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he will fire another government executive, an undersecretary, but chose not to speak about it anymore.

“I’m still going to fire another one. I’ll not talk about it anymore. There is another guy that I’m going to fire, also undersecretary,” Duterte said.

Dureza on Tuesday apologized to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for failing to prevent the alleged corruption within his agency, the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

This developed after Duterte, during the inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, announced that he has accepted Dureza’s resignation, saying he was “very sad” but accepted his decision.

In the same speech, Duterte said he has fired OPAPP Undersecretary and PAMANA National Program Manager Ronald Flores and OPAPP Assistant Secretary for Support Services and PAMANA Concerns Yeshter Donn Baccay due to corruption but did not elaborate.

Dureza, in a press statement, said he was stepping down from his post to allow a “needed reorganization” within the OPAPP.

“I am voluntarily tendering my resignation to pave the way for the needed reorganization that Your Excellency may wish to undertake at OPAPP,” Dureza said.

Dureza said he was glad, but with some amount of sadness, that Duterte will be terminating two OPAPP officials.

He said he tried to gather evidence to give basis to his planned move to sack the two OPAPP officials if warranted.

After talking to some local officials, he said he was able to validate some reports but they declined to be officially quoted.

Dureza said he also installed an internal Ombudsman with an outside lawyer to help validate and gather evidence due to persistent rumors about corruption.

He also took efforts to publicly warn the public through the social and mainstream media against corruption in the implementation of PAMANA projects and requested information with assurances of confidentially of the source.