‘Sueno lost job over purchase of firetrucks from Austria’
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental — The irregular purchase of the Rosenbauer firetrucks from Austria cost the job of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno.
According to DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Jesus Hinlo, Sueno was sacked because of his involvement in the purchase of the firetrucks without public bidding.
“There is a pending case with the Supreme Court involving the firetrucks but Sueno still proceeded with the transaction,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
“There should be due diligence, that’s the issue that I think weighed heavily on the decision of the President (Rodrigo Duterte),” he added.
Hinlo, a native of Negros Occidental, was one of the three DILG undersecretaries who called the attention of President Duterte to the alleged anomalies committed by Sueno.
The two others were DILG Undersecretary for operations John Castriciones and DILG Undersecretary for legislative liaison and special concerns Emilie Padilla.
Sueno and the three undersecretaries were members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Council Committee who campaigned for the then Davao City mayor in the 2016 presidential elections.
On Monday night, Duterte dismissed Sueno from the Cabinet, citing loss of trust and confidence.
“I trust the decision and wisdom of the President” in his decision to dismiss Sueno, said Hinlo.
Hinlo said he believed that the President’s decision was based on his own investigation and supporting evidence.
He said that Sueno’s dismissal should not affect the functions and operations of the department.
“We have no choice but to remain optimistic that the DILG will be able to perform its mandate both for the local government units and ensure that the interior side would be able to protect the people against criminality, fire and ensure the custody of the inmates,” Hinlo said. SFM/rga
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