MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Saturday, February 17, that Social Security System (SSS) Commissioner Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña was sacked because he “demanded” a P26 million-budget for his social media show, among other reasons.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque bared 4 grounds that prompted President Rodrigo Duterte not to renew La Viña’s term as SSS commissioner.
“Former Commissioner La Viña demanded a budget of P26 million to fund his ‘social media’ project with him as TV host. This was denied,” Roque said.
The Palace official said that after the rejection of the multimillion-peso budget request, La Viña again requested a P1.6-million monthly budget for a media advertising program, which was also rejected.
Roque said La Viña requested the accreditation of 7 brokers to handle SSS investments, which was again denied because the brokers failed to meet the requirements.
La Viña had also accused other SSS commissioners of using their positions to trade stocks for personal gains, which Roque said turned out to be a “vilification campaign against 4 SSS executives who crossed his path.”
“Despite an ongoing investigation, Mr La Viña called a press conference and spoke against these 4 executives,” Roque said.
Roque said two of the 4 executives resigned, and one of them now served as a consultant of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Duterte’s spokesman said the fate of La Viña, ho was part of the social media team of Duterte’s presidential campaign, was proof of the President’s pledge “that he will not tolerate even a whiff of corruption.”
Duterte sacked La Viña and SSS chairman Amado Valdez for alleged “abuse” of government funds.
“Again, let this be a reminder to all public officials that the President is serious in curbing corruption and has strong resolve to promote good governance,” Roque said.
La Viña had denied corruption allegations.
La Viña is the cousin of Peter La Viña, who Duterte fired in March 2017 as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) because of alleged corruption.
The former NIA chief also worked in the communications team of the Duterte presidential campaign, and even served as campaign spokesman. – Rappler.com
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