Palace: ‘Speculative’ to link acceptance of Rio’s resignation to concerns with StaySafe.PH
MANILA, Philippines — It is “purely speculative” to relate the acceptance of former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Eliseo Rio’s resignation to his concerns on the selection of contact tracing app StaySafe.PH, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this as he noted that nobody made Rio resign from his post.
“Iyan po ay purely speculative, dahil wala naman pong nagpa-resign kay dating Usec. Rio,” Roque said during an online briefing when asked if President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of Rio’s resignation was related to the latter’s concerns on the StaySafe.PH app.
(That is purely speculative because nobody made Usec. Rio resign.)
“Siya ay nag-resign, hindi naman po niya binawi iyong resignation niya. So, it was really up to the President to accept or reject the application. It was accepted after four months, full stop po. Wala na pong ibang istorya doon,” he added.
(He resigned and did not take back his resignation. So, it was really up to the President to accept or reject the application. It was accepted after four months, full stop. There’s no other story on that.)
Over the weekend, Rio said he was “eased out” as DICT undersecretary after questioning StaySafe.PH as the country’s official contact tracing application.
Rio noted the weaknesses in the app’s privacy protocols and its ability to do contact tracing—an essential function in isolated cases to stop the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Noong pumutok po ito, IATF had to make a decision quickly and they decided that the only available technology then was StaySafe.PH,” Roque said.
Rio, who led the country’s search for a third telecommunications player, resigned from his post in February.
The President only accepted his resignation last month.
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