Pro-Duterte blogger quits DFA contract
A pro-Duterte blogger has backed out of his contract as consultant to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), less than a week after being called to a Senate hearing on fake news.
Rey Joseph Nieto announced on Monday through his social media account, Thinking Pinoy, that he had asked the DFA to terminate his contract, and that he would donate to charity the at least P36,000 salary he was supposed to get from the agency.
The DFA did not respond to requests for comment.
“I have already contacted the DFA to request for the termination of my consultancy contract,” Nieto said.
“While I have yet to receive any remuneration for the services I have rendered since July 2017, I have decided to donate prospective earnings to a suitable charity organization if and when I get compensated,” he added.
At the hearing conducted by the Senate committee on public information and mass media on Oct. 4, Nieto said he was hired as DFA consultant and given the job of “head of strategic communications for migrant workers’ affairs” last July.
His employment came barely two months after Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano was appointed by President Duterte.
The DFA has not provided details nor officially confirmed Nieto’s status as consultant despite media queries.
‘Working as slaves’
During the Senate hearing, Nieto said:
“We are like slaves there and I only get P12,000. It’s not even enough to pay for taxi. It’s just that the DFA needs me more than I need them and I want the government to succeed.”
DFA spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar declined to comment, but shrugged off Nieto’s remark as “his personal opinion.”
Nieto and another pro-Duterte blogger, now Press Assistant Sec. Mocha Uson, were included as official government delegates to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York held last Sept. 19 to 23.
They were also with the government delegation during Cayetano’s official visit to Washington D.C. Cayetano, who has extended his stay in the US to a month or until Oct. 15, has not given any comment on his hiring of Nieto.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.