Palace backs Diokno who faces graft rap

Published January 21, 2021, 5:25 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is confident that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Benjamin Diokno will be able to explain himself amid the graft complaint recently filed against him, citing his integrity.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after a graft complaint was filed against Diokno and other BSP executives with the Ombudsman for an alleged anomalous multi-million peso contract involving the production of national ID cards.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In his Thursday presser, Roque said the graft charges will not affect the government’s implementation of the national ID because Diokno will be able to overcome this obstacle.

“Wala naman po (It won’t have any effect in the national ID program),” he said.

“Kampante po kami at nagtitiwala na magbibigay-linaw po si Gov. Diokno sa issue na ito (We are confident that Gov. Diokno will be able to shed light on this issue),” he added.

Roque said the Palace believes in the integrity of Diokno who was Duterte’s Budget Secretary before being appointed to the BSP in 2019 following the death of BSP Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. due to cancer.

“Gov. Diokno, until fairly recently, was in the Cabinet enjoying the full trust and confidence of the President. In fact, he trusted him so much that he promoted him to become Central Bank governor,” he said.

“Naninindigan po tayo sa integridad ni Gov. Diokno (We stand by the integrity of Gov. Diokno),” he added.

Ricardo Fulgencio IV, chairman of Stop Corruption Organization of the Philippines Inc., alleged that Diokno and six other BSP officials “favored” OVD Kinegram AG and awarded it a P1.75-billion contract for the lease of equipment related to the production of national ID cards. Fulgencio claimed that there was no public bidding for the lease.

The BSP is in charge of printing the national ID which aims to consolidate government-issued IDs and provide a valid proof of identity for all Filipinos and resident aliens.

 
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