Duterte fires SSS chairman Valdez and commissioner La Viña

Pia Ranada
Duterte fires SSS chairman Valdez and commissioner La Viña
President Rodrigo Duterte did not renew the terms of Social Security Sysytem chairman Amado Valdez and Commissioner Pompee La Viña

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte fired Social Security System (SSS) chairman Amado Valdez and commissioner Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña, according to Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, on Monday, February 12, said the terms of the two officials will not be renewed.

Valdez and La Viña’s terms as SSS commissioners expired last June 30, 2017 and are both currently in office in a “hold-over capacity.”

Their service in the commission has been “discontinued effective immediately,” said Roque.

Malacañang did not give a reason for the termination of services of the two officials.

However, the SSS has recently been embroiled in controversy after La Viña went public with accusations that members of the SSS Commission, the body’s top policy-making body, were using their positions to trade stocks for their personal gains.

The commission then conducted an investigation into 4 officials: Executive Vice President for Investments Rizaldy Capulong, Equities Investment Division Chief Reginald Candelaria, and Equities Product Development Head Ernesto Francisco Jr, and Chief Actuary George Ongkeko Jr.

Duterte appointed Valdez, a former dean of the University of the East College of Law, as SSS chairman in October 2016. La Viña, before serving as SSS Commissioner, was part of the social media team of Duterte’s presidential campaign.

Asked for comment, La Viña said he is grateful for having been given a chance to serve the Duterte administration.

“I thank the President for having given me the honor and privilege of serving the Filipino people. As presidential appointees, we all serve at his pleasure,” he said. – Rappler.com


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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.