Fake News? Accusations against Santiago ‘not gospel truth’
Malacañang clarified on Tuesday that the allegations that former Dangerous Drugs Board (DBB) chief Dionisio Santiago had junkets abroad and took favors from drug-lords were unverified.
An apologetic presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the allegations were raised in a letter-complaint that purportedly came from the DDB Employees’ Union.
“I’m sorry if there’s been any misunderstanding, but I’ve reviewed the transcripts. I was very clear — if there are allegations in a complaint — we did not say they are the truth,” Roque said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“And that is why I understand, General Santiago was somehow hurt. But I emphasize, we have never alleged that they are gospel truth. They are allegations, which I’m sure, he can easily dispute,” Roque added.
Roque’s clarification came on the heels of the statement of the DDB Employees’ Union that disavowed any knowledge of the complaint.
The Union denied writing the letter, adding that the actual letter-sender, a certain Priscilla Herrera, while a DDB employee, was not a union member.
It was Roque who raised the unverified allegations against Santiago without presenting evidence to back them up at a press conference in Malacañang on Monday.
Roque showed reporters Herrera’s letter-complaint against Santiago, who quit last Nov. 7 after saying that the construction of the 10,000-bed megadrug rehabilitation center was a mistake.
“I would like to confirm that General Santiago was let go by the President not only because of his statements on the megarehab centers being a ‘mistake,’” Roque said. “He was also let go because of complaints that General Santiago was using taxpayers’ money for junkets abroad,” he added. —Philip C. Tubeza
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