Hours after he was fired by President Duterte, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno denied he was corrupt, and lamented that the chief executive was fed with "wrong information" about him.
Duterte dismissed Sueno following allegations of corruption raised by 3 senior officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“I wholeheartedly accept the decision of the President. It is his call if he wants me in his Cabinet or not. But for the record, Mr. President, and I can say this with all honesty and sincerity, hindi po ako corrupt,” said Sueno in a statement.
DILG undersecretaries John Castriciones, Jesus Hinlo, and Emilie Padilla had 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 people "salivating for his post" fed Duterte with wrong information.
“I just wished the information was validated. If only the President asked DILG personnel from the central down to the regional and field offices, he would have known who amongst us are more credible and trustworthy,” he said.
Although his stint in the key government post ended badly, Sueno said he was still thankful for the opportunity.
“I believe that I did my best and I gave my whole heart to the job. I am also fortunate to have been given a chance to work with a dedicated and passionate workforce in the DILG,” he said.
“My conscience is clear. Inuulit ko po, wala akong ginawa o ginagawang anomalya,” he added.
On Monday, Sueno had defended himself against corruption allegations.
Sueno said he received an offer to protect gambling syndicates in exchange for payola, but he rejected the proposal.
Sueno said the truth will prevail.
“What goes around comes around. I hope that they (referring to his detractors) will do better than I did in the DILG. I may be old, I may not be as articulate as my three lawyer-undersecretaries, but if there is one thing that I am sure of is I am not corrupt,” he added.