NHA chief designated HUDCC secretary-general
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte has designated National Housing Authority general manager Marcelino Escalada Jr as secretary-general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
The office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said on Monday, November 26, that Escalada will perform functions in the HUDCC alongside his role as NHA chief.
"It's just a designation. So in the meantime, he will perform functions of Secretary-General in addition to his primary duties as NHA GM (general manager)," said the office in a message to reporters.
Escalada's new role comes days after Duterte announced he fired HUDCC secretary-general Falconi Millar due to supposed corruption allegations.
Millar, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing, saying he was the victim of a "demolition job" by people whom he "irritated." He also claimed he filed his resignation hours before Duterte announced his sacking.
Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said a company which had dealings with HUDCC had sent Malacañang a letter accusing Millar of demanding money from them for the release of government payments.
"There was a complaint, there was a sworn statment, PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) had it investigated….It came from someone representing a company who has receivables from HUDCC. So much millions eh they weren't able to collect it. And according to that statement, he (Millar) was asking for something for release of the millions," he said on Monday during a Palace press briefing.
Panelo could not name the company, saying he "forgot."
Duterte has frequently declared he will fire his appointees after hearing only a "whiff of corruption" yet he has also re-appointed those accused of wrongdoing into key posts.
Among these are former customs chief Nicanor Faeldon, accused of conniving with drug smugglers responsible for bringing in P6.4 billion worth of shabu inside the country, who is now Bureau of Corrections chief. There's also Pompee La Viña, who Duterte himself accused of misusing government funds yet was appointed agriculture undersecretary. - Rappler.com