MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is not yet done with his tirades against sacked Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, this time slamming his once appointee for allegedly using a wangwang (siren) on his vehicle when he was still with the cabinet.
Sueno’s decision to implement a questionable contract to acquire firetrucks from Austria was apparently not the only reason why he earned the ire of the President.
In a speech in Davao Del Norte, Duterte said that when Sueno was still in government, the latter broke the rule that Cabinet members should not use sirens to bypass traffic on the road.
“Binabawalan ko ang Cabinet members ko not to use plate number na 6. Ang plate number na 6 ay status symbol, vanity,” Duterte said.
“You know what Sueno did? He was going around Manila using sirens, may dalawang pulis tapos… You are wasting money, sino bang papatay sa iyo? Iyan ang sinasabi ko eh, low key tayo.”
Duterte fired Sueno early April for going to Austria to check on the firetrucks that the previous government had bought from Rosenbauer International Aktiengesellschaft despite questions about its legality.
Duterte was irked after Sueno admitted that he did not read the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) legal opinion on the deal, consummated during the Aquino administration.
The legal opinion cautioned the DILG against paying for the firetrucks due to a pending Supreme Court petition against its purchase.
Despite issues surrounding the firetrucks purchase, Malacañang said the deal would proceed since there was no temporary restraining order against its implementation. Some of the firetrucks have already arrived in the Philippines.
Earlier this month, Duterte named Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año as the next Interior and Local Government Chief upon his retirement in October.
He will take over the post now occupied by DILG officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy.