Duterte appoints La Viña, Antiporda as undersecretaries
President Rodrigo Duterte has brought back his election campaign’s social media manager, Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña, to the government after sacking him from the Social Security System (SSS) in February for allegedly questionable activities.
The President named La Viña undersecretary at the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday, his appointment paper showed. La Viña replaces Rolando Cañizal.
The President also named Benny Antiporda an undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Antiporda was a former member of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said La Viña’s appointment to the DOT was a “presidential prerogative.”
‘Reader of hearts’
In a post on his Facebook page, La Viña thanked the President for continuing to trust him.
“I am specially thankful for the fact that as a reader of hearts and years of experience as a prosecutor, the President does not believe any of the accusations unjustly hurled against me,” he said.
In February, Roque said that the President did not renew La Viña’s term as SSS commissioner because of infighting in the agency triggered by his allegations against other officers, and because of his questionable actions.
Not the first time
Roque had said La Viña’s term was not renewed because he demanded a P26-million budget for a social media project and a P1.6-million monthly allocation for a media advertising project.
This was not the first time that Mr. Duterte has reappointed officials to the government who had been accused of corruption.
He named former Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon deputy administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson had accused Faeldon of receiving a P100-million “welcome gift” when he joined the BOC.
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