MANILA, Philippines — It may be time for Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno to consider leaving the government given all the controversy that has hounded him, according to Agham party list Rep. Angelo Palmones who has vowed to continue the investigations he started into the allegedly questionable Philippine National Police purchase of P1 billion worth of pistols.
Palmones thinks Puno should not be appointed to another position in government after he leaves the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Palmones in July sought an investigation into the PNP’s procurement of 60,000 pistols, and he said on Monday, he would want to resume the probe after the passage of the national budget at the House of Representatives.
Puno, who oversees the PNP, supposedly fast-tracked the PNP firearms contract before the new DILG secretary Mar Roxas could assume office, according to a losing bidder. The interior undersecretary also made headlines earlier when he allegedly tried to enter the condominium unit of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo a day after the latter’s plane crashed.
“After the reports that we received about the rifles and the pistols and again the question surrounding his attempt to enter the condominium unit of Secretary [Jesse] Robrerdo, the doubt is there,” Palmones told reporters on Monday.
Besides, he said nobody in government should be considered indispensable and the country had a lot of good, trustworthy leaders.
Asked if he thought Puno should just resign, the party list lawmaker said a true friend would know when to make an exit.
“A true friend who sees himself becoming a headache would volunteer to leave out of delicadeza,” he said.
He added that anybody could continue helping the government even if he or she was not in public office.
Palmones also said he would like to continue probing the PNP’s pistol procurement after he received information that part of the shipment was already in the country early this month, just a few days after the deal was firmed up.