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Palace says Duterte accepted Laviña’s resignation

BUT MUM ON FIRING RUMORS
/ 01:03 PM March 01, 2017
Rodrigo Duterte and Peter Laviña

President Rodrigo Duterte and Peter Tiu Laviña. (Photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Malacañang on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte had accepted the resignation of his former campaign spokesperson Peter Tiu Laviña as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella read the official statement from the Office of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco: “[Laviña] tendered his resignation amid attempts to vilify discredit and malign him, and to spare the President from embarrassment due to these attempts… The Palace wishes him well in his next endeavors.”

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Laviña on Wednesday said he “quietly left the government” amid rumors that he had asked money from NIA contractors, which he denied.

“I have been vilified in the past; my name used, abused and maligned. Recently, there had been efforts to discredit me again. There are rumors circulating that I have asked money from NIA contractors. These are not true!” Laviña wrote in a Facebook post.

READ: Duterte campaign spokesman Peter Laviña out as Irrigation chief

Pressed about reports that Duterte mentioned his decision to fire Laviña in a meeting with labor groups on Monday evening, Abella said Laviña’s resignation was a “proactive action on his part.”

“Let’s go by what was stated—he tendered his resignation… Wala pa pong sinasabing sinibak (It was not stated that he was fired),” Abella said.

“I don’t know if we can generate these implications. What we know is the man resigned and the President accepted it,” he added.

Laviña was appointed NIA head last November. Prior to his stint as campaign spokesman, Laviña served as a special assistant to then Davao City Mayor Duterte and an elected councilor of the city. IDL

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TAGS: corruption, Jun Evasco, National Irrigation Administration, NIA, Peter Tiu Laviña, Rodrigo Duterte
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