Duterte fires DILG chief over corruption allegations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2017 07:23 AM | Updated as of Apr 04 2017 07:56 AM

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno. King Rodriguez, Malacanang Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed Tuesday Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismail Sueno, citing loss of trust and confidence.

The announcement was made at the end of the 14th Cabinet meeting.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President "had earlier asked a few questions of Mr. Sueno but the summary dismissal served as a warning that Mr. Duterte would not countenance any questionable or legally untenable decisions by any member of the Cabinet."

"The Secretary had, in fact, been instrumental in convincing the President to run for election, but this did not deter the President from pursuing his drive for a trustworthy government by addressing issues like corruption," he added.

In a DZMM interview, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Duterte made the decision to dismiss Sueno during a briefing.

"Kahapon lang pinag-usapan," he said.

He added he does not know anything about news that former MMDA chief Francis Tolentino is being eyed to take over the DILG portfolio.

Sueno on Monday denied various allegations of corruption and other abuses hurled against him by 3 subordinates.

DILG undersecretaries John Castriciones, Jesus Hinlo, and Emilie Padilla have reportedly called on Duterte to remove Sueno, whom they accused of collecting grease money from illegal gambling rings through his grandson, a police official identified only as "Senior Supt. Sintin."

Sueno said he received an offer to protect gambling syndicates in exchange for payola, but he rejected the proposal.