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Sueno critic gets Land Bank post

/ 07:00 AM October 25, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has transferred to the Land Bank of the Philippines one of the three officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) who were linked to the ouster of former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno.

The President on Oct. 13 appointed DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Jesus Villanueva Hinlo Jr. as a member of Landbank’s board of directors, replacing Virgilio de Vera Robles.

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“(Hinlo is) hereby appointed member, representing the private sector, Board of Directors, Land Bank of the Philippines, to serve the unexpired term of office that began on July 1, 2017 and will end on June 30, 2018,” Mr. Duterte said.

Sought for comment, Hinlo said he was still waiting for his appointment papers from Malacañang.

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“It was offered to me and I accepted a few months back. It will be a fresh start. I’ll go wherever the President wants me to serve,” Hinlo said.

“This is a new challenge for me and it’s good because I’ll be part of a government financial institution. I’ll be able to help more of our countrymen,” he said.

“I’m pro-development. I think one reason I was [assigned to Landbank] is I want our provinces developed. Development is currently concentrated in our cities,” he said.

When asked if former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chair Martin Diño was going to replace him at the DILG, Hinlo said: “That I cannot answer. It’s for the Palace to decide.”

Sueno had blamed Hinlo and his fellow DILG undersecretaries John Castriciones and Emilie Padilla for his ouster.

President Duterte sacked Sueno for the controversial purchase of 76 Rosenbauer firetrucks from Austria.

“There is a pending case [in] the Supreme Court involving the firetrucks but Sueno still proceeded with the transaction,” Hinlo said after Sueno’s ouster.

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“There should be due diligence, that’s the issue that I think weighed heavily in the decision of the President,” he said.

But before President Duterte sacked him, Sueno stripped the three undersecretaries of their responsibilities and distributed these to other undersecretaries and assistant secretaries.

Castriciones was DILG undersecretary for operations; Hinlo, for public safety; and Padilla, for legislative liaison and special concerns.

Acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy said he did not have the authority to restore the responsibilities of the three undersecretaries and left it to Malacañang to decide their fate.

“We have presented that situation to the Office of the Executive Secretary. We are just awaiting their advice,” Cuy said in a press briefing.

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TAGS: DILG, Jesus Villanueva Hinlo Jr., Land Bank of the Philippines, LBP, Rodrigo Duterte, Virgilio de Vera Robles
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