By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang revealed that Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say would have been fired by President Duterte due to corruption if the former did not resign this week.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement days after Duterte mentioned that he will fire one undersecretary in an effort to revamp his Cabinet and to weed out corrupt government officials in the Executive Branch.
Say had resigned early Tuesday, saying he stepped down to spare the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from undue criticism because of his “pro-management” background amid efforts of the administration to address the issue of contractualization of workers.
Roque, in a Palace press briefing Thursday, opted to reveal the information, saying it was better to clarify the issue.
“To be candid, if Usec (Undersecretary) Say did not resign, he would have been fired,” he said.
When asked what was the President’s basis for terminating Say, Roque said that the former Labor executive was involved in corrupt practices in the department.
“Corruption that the President knows about. Corruption relating to activities of labor recruiters, apparently, and the Department of Labor and Employment,” Roque explained.
“But I’m not sure if that was what he was referring to. I just have personal knowledge that if the resignation was not submitted, he would have been fired,” he added.
Roque also said that the official who was supposed to be fired, an information he initially withheld following the resignation of former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, was also Say.
“I was told already that he was the next on the chopping block. But I was awaiting orders on when to announce it,” he said.
“I did not have to announce it because he resigned. But it was important still to say it because in his resignation letter, he said it was matters over difference over Endo. Well… I was just awaiting to make the announcement on Usec Say,” he added.
The Palace official said that for now, the President is putting his Cabinet revamp on a pause.
“Wala pa namang nababanggit sa akin ang Presidente (The President has not said anything to me who will be next),” Roque said.
Roque meanwhile said that the Palace is letting the Ombudsman handle the matter.
“It’s the job of the Ombudsman now. I’m sure the matter will be relayed also to the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission. But in the scheme of things, the Ombudsman must act on it,” he added.