MANILA – Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan and Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said Friday they have agreed “to settle their differences" while assuring the public that the alleged “anomalous” confidential fund disbursed to the agency was legitimate.
Rio's "personal opinion" that surveillance and intelligence are beyond the agency's mandate was "misinterpreted," a joint statement by the officials of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.
Reports of alleged anomalous cash advances by the DICT surfaced after Rio announced his intent to resign.
“We have reassessed the situation, and have mutually agreed to settle our differences… To set the record straight, Usec. Rio never mentioned any anomaly in the disbursement of the Confidential Expense of the DICT,” the joint statement said.
The officials said all confidential funds disbursed to the agency were "lawful and legitimate" and that ensuring privacy, security and confidentiality in ICT-related matters is part of the agency’s mandate, the statement said.
Rio's resignation, which is yet to be approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, was due to “personal reasons and not due to any rift with the Secretary nor to any anomaly in the confidential expense,” the statement said.
Malacañang earlier said the President was open to any complaint after Rio said he wanted to talk to the chief executive to discuss other concerns in the agency.
-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News