Return of aid for ‘Recto Bank 22’ ‘no big deal’ – Del Rosario
MANILA, Philippines — “It’s no big deal,” former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario said on Monday when asked about the announcement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that his P500,000 donation for the fishermen affected by the ramming incident in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) would be returned.
“My concern is how to deliver this to the poor fishermen — whether I use the secretary’s office or whether I use the Vice President’s office or whether I seek help from the military,” Del Rosario said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net. “It’s not a big deal for me to be able to find the right person to be of assistance.”
Asked if any formal communication had been made before Locsin made the announcement on Twitter, Del Rosario said: “I did get a communication from the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] that this is what the secretary would do, but I cannot precisely tell you what that was.”
In an earlier text message to reporters, Del Rosario said he made the donation through DFA last June 19 “to manifest from my heart that we truly care for them and sympathize with what has happened.”
This donation, however, was returned by Locsin who explained that the DFA “cannot dispense donations.”
“I have to return the P500,00 check donation or I shall be compelled to turn it over to the Treasury,” Locsin said in a tweet.
“So with florid expressions of gratitude I had it returned to Del Rosario,” Locsin added.
I have to return the P500,000 check donation or I shall be compelled to turn it over to Treasury. DFA cannot dispense donations. I certainly won't turn it over to another department; that's malversation. So with florid expressions of gratitude I had it returned to Del Rosario. https://t.co/6paiMSE1O9
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) June 24, 2019
Del Rosario, meanwhile, said he understood Locsin’s decision.
“I understand fully what his challenges are. I understand that he does not want to run into those challenges,” Del Rosario said.
In another text message to INQUIRER.net, Del Rosario said he would be tapping the office of Vice President Leni Robredo for help in delivering the donation.
“I plan to ask VP’s (Vice President) office if they can help in fairly delivering the donation to the affected fishermen,” Del Rosario said.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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