PCOO says it won’t place PIA chief linked to ‘irregularities’ under preventive suspension

Published June 10, 2019, 11:22 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will not place Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite under preventive suspension despite an inquiry into his alleged involvement in some irregularities.

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite (YOUTUBE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite (YOUTUBE / MANILA BULLETIN)

PCOO Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Marvin Gatpayat explained that a government official could only be put under preventive suspension once a formal charge has been filed against the concerned person.

For now, Gatpayat noted that the investigation on the allegations against the PIA chief was ongoing.

“No, he will not. Preventive suspension can only be issued once a formal charge has been issued by the disciplining authority,” he said in a text message about the PIA head.

The PCOO official assured the public that the PCOO was “serious” in combating corruption and would ensure the prosecution of anyone involved in wrongdoing.

In the case of Clavite, he said it would be premature to state the nature of corruption amid the ongoing investigation.

On whether a complaint will be sent to the Office of the Ombudsman, Gatpayat said: “It will depend on our findings. We may or we may not forward it to the Ombudsman.”

“The PCOO is very serious about anti-corruption and we will try our best to ensure that cases be filed if there are any findings of corruption,” he said.

Clavite earlier dismissed the corruption allegations against him as “baseless and unsubstantiated” but expressed readiness to answer them in the proper forum.

The PIA chief, a former UN information management staffer, claimed that some groups were behind the demolition job against him in protest of the reforms he initiated in the agency.

 
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