September 10, 2012
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today criticized the proposal to transfer controversial former Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary Rico Puno to another government post. Reports say that Puno, despite the controversies hounding him, still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President and will be offered another government post.
“The President’s continued preference and defense of Puno, despite allegations linking him to possible anomalous transactions in the DILG, belies government’s repeated claims of “daang matuwid”,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“May nakaharang na Puno sa di-umano’y tuwid na daan. Sagot ng Pangulo, earth-balling. Puno will merely be transferred to another government post and expected to thrive once more. It says a lot about the kind of governance in a regime where the kaklase, kabarkada and kabarilan hold sway,” Reyes added.
Bayan said that the president should concede that Puno’s presence in government has raised a lot of controversies, from his control of the Philippine National Police to allegations of overpriced arms purchases. The group said that it was untenable that no less than the president continues to defend Puno.
It was President Aquino who said that it was he who ordered that Puno secure the offices of former DILG secretary Jesse Robredo. However, the order did not cover the residence of Robredo, which Puno also visited together with some officials of the PNP.
“If Puno remains in government, it will send the wrong message. It will tell other officials that one can skirt controversy if one belongs to any of the powerful factions in the Palace, and or if one is a classmate or shooting buddy of the President,” Reyes said.
“It’s time for the president to stop defending Puno. His impending transfer to another post, and the Aquino’s pronouncements that Puno enjoys his trust and confidence preempts any meaningful investigation into Puno’s alleged questionable activities, including the overpriced arms purchases and his mysterious visit to the Robredo residence,” he added. ###