DOTr defends Tugade: He abhors corruption, gets things done
MANILA — The Department of Transportation defended its secretary Arthur Tugade on Tuesday, issuing two separate statements against his detractors, while insisting that accusations being made against him were “baseless.”
The fresh wave of calls for the ouster of Tugade comes as certain advocacy groups criticized Tugade’s time as head of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC). This was in the wake of an arrest warrant for Jack Lam for alleged bribery and economic sabotage, reports showed. Lam, described in reports as a Chinese gaming tycoon, was a locator at Clark.
“There seems to be an orchestrated effort to take Secretary Tugade out of the Department of Transportation. Secretary Tugade is an upright man. He abhors corruption,” the DOTr said in a statement.
“He knows Jack Lam as one of the locators in Clark when he was CDC president but that doesn’t mean Sec. Tugade is involved in any wrongdoing. It is not CDC who grants permits for online gambling. In fact, Secretary Tugade was very strict in granting BPO permits to make sure it was not being used as front for online gambling,” the department added.
Apart from the statement, the department said Tugade was responding to “baseless accusations against him with work, work, work.”
It cited the relaunch of the Pasig Ferry, the release of driver’s license cards by the first quarter of 2017, and the rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railways line to Bicol.
Other initiative: opening the second phase of the NAIA Expressway project together with the Department of Public Works and Highways and San Miguel Corp., bottlenecks at the LRT-1, and ensuring an avenue to receive complaints from rude passenger drivers for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
The DOTr issued another statement on Tuesday, citing former representative of Southern Leyte, Roger Mercado, who also served as assistant secretary for administration and legal Affairs of the old Department of Transportation and Communications during the Arroyo administration.
“Secretary Tugade is working hard to do something about our present traffic situation. He is strong-willed and unyielding. He’s the kind of leader that doesn’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer. He’s impatient, and that’s good because he gets things done,” said Mercado.
Mercado was commenting on recent attacks made by the so-called Road Users Protection Advocates (RUPA), which has been advocating for the ouster of Tugade.
“This group has not laid down a single advocacy for road users. It is very clear that the only thing they care about is for Tugade to leave the DOTr,” he added. SFM/rga
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