MANILA, Philippines - Newly appointed Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said Undersecretary Rico Puno will be given another assignment outside the DILG.
Roxas said the President has given him the free hand to bring his own people into the agency.
He said all co-terminus positions in the agency are to be vacated.
“[The President] gave me a free mandate to choose my team. I would expect that lahat ng mga co-terminus would be vacated by the time na pumasok tayo. Ayon sa Pangulo, may ibang assignment siya na naiisip para kay Usec. Puno," he said.
Puno's appointment at the DILG became controversial after it was learned that he was given control of the Philippine National Police, instead of then acting DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, before the August 2010 Manila hostage crisis.
He also drew flak after confirming that he had received feelers from emissaries of jueteng operators.
Meanwhile, Roxas said he will have full control of the police. “’Yan ang sinabi sa akin. In any event, sinabi na ng Pangulo sa kanyang remarks. Hindi naman dapat na ako pa ang mag-interpret. Ang Pangulo na ang nagsabi," he said.
Roxas vowed to clamp down on all forms of crime, including jueteng.
“On jueteng, on drugs, on kidnapping, illegal logging, malinaw na malinaw naman ang posisyon ng Pangulo dito sa krimen na ito. At gagampanan ko ang aking tugkulin para matigil at mahuli lahat itong mga gumagawa ng masama na ito,” he told reporters.