Roque: Infighting sealed doom of Valdez, La Viña at SSS
Infighting among Social Security System (SSS) officials prompted President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision not to renew the appointments of its chair, Amado Valdez, and commissioner, Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The President felt that the agency would be run more efficiently if there was no friction in the board, said Roque.
“In my view, the President replaced them because he sees that the SSS would be more efficient if there was no conflict in the board of the SSS,” Roque said in a press briefing in Kalinga province.
Roque sought to assure the public that the agency’s services would not be affected by the departure of Valdez and La Viña.
“The management of the SSS has not changed. Work in the SSS continues,” he said.
La Viña had accused four SSS officials of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct for using the pension fund’s stockbrokers to trade stocks for their personal accounts and make a profit. This was conflict of interest, said La Viña, who had filed a complaint against the officials.
Valdez had placed the four officials on floating status while an investigation was pending. Two had already resigned.
The SSS employees’ union later petitioned Malacañang to dismiss La Viña, saying he had demoralized the agency by going public with his allegations.
Valdez and La Viña had played key roles in Mr. Duterte’s presidential campaign. Valdez had served as his lawyer while La Viña managed his social media team.
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