|Former DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno
MANILA, Philippines - Actress-host Kris Aquino on Wednesday praised Rico Puno, who resigned from his post as undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday.
Puno said he resigned from his position as DILG undersecretary "to support the President's decision to give a free hand to the incoming secretary (Mar Roxas)" in forming his own team.
President Benigno Aquino III has already accepted Puno's resignation.
"I think also, it also shows his character that he stepped down because I think he also felt na unfair na yung criticism na binabato din kay Noy for sticking by him, so OK 'yon," Kris said.
Kris also agreed with her guest co-host Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero's opinion that Puno's resignation shows his loyalty to the President.
"Alam mo kawawa naman si Rico bugbog palagi sa media. He has been receiving so many criticisms pero ang tingin ko -- kilala ko si Rico noon pa -- eh trabaho niya talaga 'yong saluhin ang anumang batikos para kay PNoy. Saluhin ang anumang batikos sa departamento. Well ganoon talaga ang buhay siguro," Escudero said.
"Hindi lang na sa hindi siya nagsasalita, kasi baka may sasabihin siya in his defense na ang tatamaan ay si PNoy. Piniili niya na lang manahimik na siya na lang ang magulpi. That shows loyalty," he added.
"Thank you for saying that kasi kung ako ang magsasabi noon it will sound self-serving pero ang masasabi ko lang kami -- I've known him for a long time kasi nga he's really been close to PNoy for so long -- you know wala kasi silang mabato kay Noy so maghahanap ka ng a punching bag and unfortunately for him that was him," Kris told the senator.
Puno came under fire for going to DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo's condo unit in Quezon City on August 19, a day after Robredo's plane crashed, allegedly to secure some documents there.
The DILG undersecretary has also been accused of various anomalies including a possibly overpriced firearms deal.
In a statement on Tuesday, Puno said he was ordered by the President to strengthen the DILG to make uniformed personnel true servants and protectors of the people.
He said that for the past two years, he has carried out specific assignments in accordance with the President’s mandate.
He also said he introduced reforms to ensure full transparency of procurement and bidding processes.