Duterte names sacked SSS exec as Tourism undersecretary
President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Social Security System (SSS) Commissioner Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña as tourism undersecretary.
Duterte signed La Viña’s appointment paper on April 24, but it was released only by Malacañang on Wednesday.
A former social media director of Duterte’s 2016 campaign, La Viña was sacked in February after Duterte did not renew his appointment.
After his stint at SSS, La Viña accused SSS Executive Vice President Rizaldy Capulong and 20 others before the Office of the Ombudsman of approving the allegedly anomalous P143 million worth of media contracts.
The SSS employees union, however, sent a petition to Malacañang, asking to dismiss La Viña.
The union said they were demoralized by La Viña’s decision to go public with his accusations against Capulong and other SSS officials.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has said that La Viña was dismissed for demanding P26 million to fund his social media project.
He then asked for a budget of P1.6 million per month for a media advertising program but this was also denied, Roque said.
Asked to comment on La Viña”s reappointment, Roque said it was a “presidential prerogative.”
Time and again, however, the President had declared he would not tolerate even a “whiff of corruption” against his men under his administration.
But the President has also been reappointing officials accused of being involved in corruption.
Aside from La Viña, the President also appointed former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) board member and former National Press Club (NPC) President Benny Antipoda as environment undersecretary and Rosario Sagadal and Agnes Alexis Lucero-De Grano as commissioners of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
The chief executive also promoted some police officials. /kga /atm