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Persuasive power vs oil firm

/ 05:15 AM September 30, 2017

So, Secretary Rodolfo Salalima of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) did not resign, as he claims, but was told to resign.

Salalima said he quit because of corruption and interference in the agency; however, he didn’t name the people who were corrupt or those interfering with his work.

But President Digong said he asked Salalima, his schoolmate at San Beda College of Law, to resign because he was favoring one telecommunications company over the others.


Salalima was executive of Globe Telecom before he joined the Duterte administration.

Salalima should have known that his claim of corruption and interference at the DICT would boomerang on him.

Favoring one telco firm to the exclusion of others—as the President claims he did in the awarding of government contracts—is a form of corruption.

Salalima should have known that Digong would not take this claim sitting down because it would be a reflection on the President’s leadership.

Apparently, Salalima didn’t know the President well enough.

It’s high time the President looked beyond his classmates in choosing his alter egos.

Keen observers note that the San Beda boys in Digong’s Cabinet are: Salvador Medialdea as executive secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre II as justice secretary, Arthur Tugade as transportation secretary, and until recently, Salalima at DICT.

San Beda Law School doesn’t have a monopoly of talents.


In fact, in the case of the President’s men, some of them are incompetent and nonperforming.

There’s a belief in many cultures that a leader should never employ his relatives or close friends because they tend to become inept or abuse their position.

If the President is looking for Justice Secretary Aguirre’s replacement, he doesn’t have to look far.

One of Aguirre’s subalterns is an expert in criminal law which the Duterte administration needs in defending itself from criticism over its unorthodox method of dealing with drugs and criminality.

Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), which is under the Department of Justice, placed fourth among the 1989 bar topnotchers.

As PAO head, Acosta has been defending poor litigants; she even goes the extra mile in taking up the cudgels for the oppressed, as in the case of a housemaid who was blinded by her employers.

She is very articulate and has never been involved in any shenanigans.

Her “downside,” though, is that she is an Ateneo law graduate.

Since the Digong administration is going after tax cheats to raise revenues, why doesn’t it go after Shell Corp. which owes the government P113.7 billion (repeat, billion) in delinquent duties and taxes?

The government has been engaged in a protracted court battle with the oil company over its tax delinquency.

The President may want to use the persuasive power of the state to make Shell pay up.

Editor’s note: Ramon Tulfo will be on leave and his column will resume after two weeks.

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