Sueno accepts Duterte decision, but denies corruption allegation
What goes around comes around.
This was the warning of beleaguered Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno to those who accused him of wrongfully spending the government’s money that had led to his dismissal from the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This as the secretary maintained that he was not involved in corrupt activities in relation to the alleged anomalous payment for the Rosenbauer firetrucks.
“I hope that they will do better than I did in the DILG. I may be old, I may not be as articulate as my three lawyer-undersecretaries, but if there is one thing that I am sure of is I am not corrupt,” Sueno said in a statement on Tuesday.
But he said he “wholeheartedly accept(s) the decision of the President.”
READ: Duterte sacked Sueno over loss of trust — Palace
“It is his call if he wants me in his Cabinet or not. But for the record, Mr. President, and I can say this with all honesty and sincerity, hindi po ako corrupt (I am not corrupt),” said Sueno in his statement.
Duterte must have been fed with wrong information, said the former South Cotabato governor, who was personally handpicked by Duterte to lead the DILG.
READ: Duterte pressed Sueno on corruption allegations—Palace
“I just wished the information was validated. If only the President asked DILG personnel from the central down to the regional and field offices, he would have known who amongst us are more credible and trustworthy,” he said.
Sueno said he is willing to face any investigation.
“My conscience is clear. Inuulit ko po, wala akong ginawa o ginagawang anomaly (I repeat, I have not done and am not doing any anomaly),” he said.
“I believe that I did my best and I gave my whole heart to the job. I am also fortunate to have been given a chance to work with a dedicated and passionate workforce in the DILG,” Sueno said.
Recently, three Interior undersecretaries–John Castriciones for operations, Jesus Hinlo for public safety and Emilie Padilla for legislative liaison and special concerns–sent a letter to Malacañang telling the President the questionable purchases of Sueno.
READ: Rift between Sueno, undersecretaries reaches ear of Duterte
They were all members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Council Committee who campaigned for Duterte in 2016.
But Sueno said there was no way to prevent the purchase of the firetrucks because it was procured by the Aquino administration.
The DILG was then led by defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
“My role was to abide by the provision of the contract which says that I should ensure that the firetrucks to be delivered are in good condition so my team and I had to go to Austria to inspect them. If we did not do that, we cannot anymore complain if they delivered defective firetrucks to us,” he said. IDL/rga
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