By Genalyn Kabiling
Former Bureau of Customs (BoC) chief and now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) head Isidro Lapeña still enjoys the trust and confidence of President Duterte despite the filing of graft charges against him, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Even as the Palace assured that no one would be spared in the fight against corruption, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo maintained that Lapeña continues to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“We point out that Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General Isidro Lapeña has the constitutional right to be presumed innocent,” Panelo said in a statement.
“Until and unless proven otherwise, he still enjoys the trust and confidence of the appointing authority who happens to be the President,” he added.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed a graft complaint against Lapeña in connection with the disappearance of 105 containers of ceramic tiles at the customs bureau in March.
The NBI, in a complaint lodged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday, recommended that Lapeña be charged with violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
He was also facing charges of alleged gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.
Panelo acknowledged that Lapeña’s case highlights that the government would not spare anyone in the anti-corruption campaign.
“No one, friends or political foes alike, is spared in our fight against corruption,” he said.
“The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has a mandate to fulfill and its action is proof that the President shall not shield those upon whom a shadow of doubt has been cast,” he added.
He said good governance was the hallmark of the Duterte administration.
“This latest development is a reaffirmation of the President’s commitment against all forms of corruption and illegality,” he added.