Duterte 'open' to any complaint, Palace says on Rio exit

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2020 01:23 PM

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte is open to meeting resigned Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Eliseo Rio, a Palace official said Wednesday.

Rio, who led the selection for the Philippines' third telco, can reach the President to air his concerns on the DICT, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said. Rio cited complications within the department for his departure.

"He can go to the President. It’s really up to him. What I’m saying is the President has always said that Malacañang is always open and he is open to receiving any complaint," Nograles told reporters in Malacañang.

"If he (Rio) needs to see the President I’m sure he knows what to do," he said.

Rio said he left the DICT to give its head, Gringo Honasan, a “free hand.” He also denied having first-hand knowledge of an alleged anomaly involving confidential funds at the DICT based on a Commission on Audit report.

Nograles said issues hounding the DICT weren’t discussed during the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night. He said Honasan could hold a dialogue with the President if needed.

Both Malacañang and Congress can also look into the alleged anomalies involving the DICT, Nograles said.

Honasan may face a Senate investigation on the alleged anomaly in the DICT, said Senator Panfilo Lacson. Lacson and Honasan are classmates at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1971.

Honasan “deserves the opportunity to give his side” on the statements made by Rio, Lacson said.

-with a report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News