MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte revealed on Monday, February 12, that he offered two options for former Commission on Higher Education chairperson Patricia Licuanan: step down or face charges.
"Either she steps down or I will file a case against her," said Duterte about instructions he gave Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who had called Licuanan to tell her to resign.
Duterte was speaking at a gathering of local government officials in Cebu City.
Licuanan chose to resign. In an interview with Rappler, she said Medialdea warned of "worse" to come if she didn't do so.
She denied the accusations that she travelled excessively and mismanaged the allowance for scholars, leading to a delay in its release.
Duterte did not elaborate what case he would file against Licuanan. To date, his administration is yet to file a case against officials he sacked for corruption.
These include former Interior Secretary Mike Sueño who had been accused of facilitating the implementation of a contract for Rossenbauer firetrucks from Austria that Duterte found overpriced.
Another is former National Irrigation Administration chief Peter La Viña whom Duterte fired for supposedly asking for a cut from irrigation projects in Mindanao.
There is also former budget undersecretary Gertrudo De Leon who Duterte accused of influence-peddling.
On Monday, Duterte elaborated that De Leon offered to help government agencies get additional budget outside of funds approved in the General Appropriations Act, for a fee. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.