MANILA - President Aquino has cleared resigned DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno of wrongdoing when he went to DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo’s condominium after the plane crash even if the President’s instruction was only to secure Robredo’s office.
After having spoken to Puno, Aquino is convinced that Puno had only wanted to secure—and not to get—the papers of Robredo in all possible places where these were: at Robredo’s office at the DILG office in Quezon City, in Camp Crame, at NAPOLCOM in Makati and in Robredo’s condominium unit.
Aquino said Puno went to Robredo’s condo unit after being told by Superintendent Oliver Tanseco that Robredo also brought home some documents.
Tanseco is the deputy chief of the Office of Internal Security at the DILG.
“Noong inorder ko na office, my understanding is inassume na n’ya lahat ng offices pinapa-secure ko. Understanding ko rin, itong si Superintendent Tanseco ay nagpaalala rin sa kanya na nag-uuwi ng mga papeles, dokumento si Secretary Robredo. So noong kami ay abala, na nasa Masbate hinahanap si Secretary Robredo, sinigurado na niya, sa aking pananaw, na ma-secure lahat ng pwedeng pinaglagyan nitong documents. Hindi para kunin, hindi para tignan pero siguraduhin na hindi mawala lahat itong mga dokumento—‘yung posibilidad na [nasa] iba’t ibang tanggapan ni Secretary Robredo nakalagay,” Aquino told reporters.
Bidding process still being investigated
Asked if Puno will still be investigated for the alleged anomalous bidding process for the Philippine National Police’s plan to purchase rifles, Aquino said that everyone involved in the process will still be investigated.
Aquino still wants to get to the bottom of the bidding process which Robredo had began investigating before his death.
The President wants to know why only one bidder had remained interested and why the supplier’s rifles did not match the specifications that the PNP was requiring.
“‘Yun, kailangan makita pa rin. Ano bang mga depekto dun sa specs? Ano ang depekto sa proseso? Sino ba ang mga responsible? Tila may kukunin na mas mahal na hindi angkop doon sa hinhingi ng gagamit na ahensya,” Aquino said.
“Gusto kong ma-check ‘yung buong proseso. Gusto kong ma-check bakit ganitong resulta. So lahat ng involved doon syempre dadaan doon sa pagsisiyasat para malaman nga paano nangyari itong sa ripple,” he added.
Another position for Puno?
The President is considering designating Puno to another position outside the DILG but said nothing is firm yet.
“Sa ngayon it’s under consideration pero wala pang firm. And we will finish so many things. Pero not in the DILG if that will materialize,” he said.
The President said there is no replacement yet for Puno as DILG undersecretary for peace and order.
Aquino said it would be incoming DILG Secretary Mar Roxas who would designate Puno’s replacement.
Earlier, the President told reporters that he was thinking of appointing Chief PNP Nicanor Bartolome to replace Puno ahead of Bartolome’s retirement.
“May kapalit na ba? Pagka-intindi ko, meron nung pag-alis ko. Pero pag balik ko, nag-usap kaming muli at mukhang baka hindi pa siya magiging ready sa panahon na kakailanganin siya. So there is no person yet designated. I think Secretary Roxas will be the right person to designate his undersecretaries. Kailangan munang mag-assume si Secretary Roxas bago siya mag-designate itong mga tao niya,” he said.