Andanar: PIA chief probed over alleged corruption

Credit to Author: CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT| Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 17:57:49 +0000

THE head of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) is under investigation due to allegations of corruption, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Monday, as the administration continues to crack down on officials who supposedly broke President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-corruption vow to the public.

In a text message, Andanar confirmed that the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) legal department was looking into allegations of corruption against PIA Director General Harold Clavite.

“It’s not supposed to be for public consumption and it’s not supposed to be out since it is under investigation. Anyhow, given the gravity of the corruption allegations and guided by the ‘whiff of corruption principle’ of the Duterte Administration our legal office is one with the President to stomp out corruption from the bureacracy as long as there is proof,” Andanar told The Manila Times.

In a statement, Clavite described as “unfortunate”  Andanar’s and his lawyer’s move to “establish probable cause on their own, based on an anonymous letter, without having to wait for an official response from my side.”

“It is interesting to note also that when I sent a report and complaint to the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) through the PCOO on May 2019 in relation to irregularities in PIA, the Secretary did not take any action. And while an anonymous letter was sent to them against me, they quickly and easily declare probable cause,” Clavite said.

“While people affected in the reforms that I have established in PIA are doing ways to discredit me, there should be no room for any biases and PCOO should be more objective in dealing with such considering my excellent performance in the past two years. They should have been more circumspect in their public pronouncements. I have yet to submit my official response to PCOO and they already made public statements which I find appalling and unfair,” he said.

He said he would answer the charges in the proper forum.”

The PIA chief insisted that the allegations against him were “done based on an intent to demolish and undermine my person and authority due to the reforms I have established in the Agency.”

“I am ready to face any investigation from PCOO as long as I am assured of objectivity. If any case is lodged in the Office of the Ombudsman, full jurisdiction rests on them and I am ready and willing to cooperate,” he added.

The PIA, which serves as the country’s main development communications arm, is an attached unit of the PCOO.

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