News Briefs: Sept. 27, 2018
Aquino no longer NFA administrator, says Palace
Malacañang made it clear on Wednesday that Jason Aquino had already resigned as National Food Authority (NFA) administrator following a report that he had attended a recent NFA Council meeting and even objected to new rice importations by the government.
After rereading the transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s one-on-one interview with his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, two weeks ago, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Aquino was no longer NFA administrator.
“The President did accept (Aquino’s) resignation,” Roque said in a radio program. He said he did not know why Aquino attended the NFA Council meeting.
The deputy administrator, Roque said, should take over until Aquino’s replacement, Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista, begins in his new job. —Christine O. Avendaño
SC aspirant denies trying to curry favor with Mayor Sara Duterte
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, who is seeking a seat in the Supreme Court, has denied lobbying for the withdrawal of the disbarment complaint against Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in order to curry her favor.
It was revealed during the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) public interviews on Wednesday that the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte submitted an affidavit opposing Marquez’s candidacy.
The mayor accused Marquez of “talking to the petitioners and witnesses in the disbarment case filed against me, asking them to withdraw their complaint.”
She claimed that Marquez did so “hoping that I may take notice of him.”
Responding to questions by JBC member Toribio Ilao, Marquez said: “I did not have anything to do with this … The allegation that I talked to the complainants, to the witnesses, I did something, I maneuvered, I manipulated, actually, Your Honor, with all due respect, is not accurate.” —Vince F. Nonato
CA OKs Kho appointment, Army general’s promotion
The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday approved the appointment of Antonio Kho as Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner and the promotion of Army officer Roy Devesa to the rank of major general.
Kho is a fraternity brother of President Rodrigo Duterte.
There was no opposition to Kho’s confirmation during a hearing of the CA panel on Wednesday.
He told lawmakers that the Comelec was working with Congress to include funds for the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which creates a new, expanded region in Mindanao.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros asked Devesa about the military’s allegations that members of the political opposition were involved in a plot to unseat the President.
Devesa, who heads the Armed Forces Training and Doctrine Command, said he had no access to the information that his colleagues had. —Leila B. Salaverria
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