CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Heads are expected to roll at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) central office as its chief has filed formal complaints against some of his subordinates in the light of the corruption charges hurled against him.
On his Facebook post on Saturday, PIA director-general Harold Clavite pointed his finger at Benjamin Felipe, the agency’s senior director for communication strategy and Clavite’s second-in-command.
Clavite bears the rank of undersecretary in the hierarchy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the government’s communications arm headed by Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar.
Clavite has accused Felipe as the source of anonymous letters that accused him of corruption.
“Benjamin Felipe, who is a presidential appointee in PIA, works with a very few disgruntled PIA [executive committee] members and employees to wage war against me,” Clavite said on his Facebook post.
He said the PCOO has initiated an investigation into the allegations against him as contained in the letters.
“While I welcome any investigation from PCOO, my point of contention was primarily based on the manner how the case was managed and how ‘gravity’ and ‘probable cause’ were determined and publicly announced to the media. Based on information that I provided to PCOO on 13 June, the issue raised in the anonymous letters are irrelevant,” he added.
Clavite has denied the accusations raised by some of his subordinates in the letters, including a supposed “kickback” of P26,000 from payment of a television program “Like Pinas” on the state-run network PTV and on the issue of “contract splitting” over the Association of Southeast Asian comics projects, namely, the “Benepisyong ASEAN” and “Usapang ASEAN.”
The undersecretary said all the allegations are baseless and concocted to malign his person.
He said those who committed the alleged wrongdoings are out to destroy his career as a government official whose only intention was to ensure efficiency and transparency in the PIA under his watch.
“The allegations hurled against me are done based on an intent to demolish me and undermine my person and authority due to the reforms that I have established in PIA,” he said.
“At this moment, I have ordered the offices and personnel concerned in PIA to provide information and explanation on these allegations,” he added.
Clavite said he has already ordered an investigation into these issues adding appropriate charges have already been lodged against those responsible for the reported anomalous transactions.
“I have filed formal complaints against some people for discourtesy, conduct unbecoming of an official/employee, insubordination, and violation of RA 6713. I am likewise in touch with authorities to check the halls of PIA and expose culprits hiding under their desks,” Clavite said.
“While people affected in the reforms I have established in the PIA are doing ways to discredit me, there should be no room for any biases on the part of PCOO, and I would expect the mother agency of PIA to be more objective in dealing with these cases considering my excellent performance in the agency for the past two years,” he said.
Clavite said: “A public office is a public trust, and at the same time there is always a presumption of regularity. When certain red flags come out, it is my responsibility as head of agency to find out and get more information and in such process, I will be guided in my course of action.”
“I am ready to face any investigation from PCOO, as long as I am assured of objectivity. If any case is lodged with the Ombudsman, full jurisdiction rests on them and I am ready to cooperate,” he said.
“As of this very moment, I have secured clearance from the Ombudsman, as of May 21st, 2019, that I have no pending criminal or administrative case,” the director-general added. (davaotoday.com)