'Effectively a termination' says DOJ chief
MANILA (UPDATE) - Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon of the Department of Justice (DOJ) resigned from his post on Tuesday, heeding President Rodrigo Duterte's call for him to step down.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this, saying: “My understanding is [the] President appointed someone to replace DoJ Asec. Macarambong, so that is effectively a termination. No other acts needed.”
He said Duterte had a "trust and confidence issue" with Macarambon.
Guevarra had earlier asked all of his department's undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to submit their courtesy resignations.
Earlier, Malacañang said Duterte asked Macarambon and Assistant Secretary Tingagun Umpa of the Department of Public Works and Highways to resign due to corruption allegations.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte made this decision following an investigation by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
According to Roque, Macarambon allegedly intervened for gold and jewelry smugglers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while Umpa allegedly asked for commissions from contractors at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
In a phone interview, Macarambon denied the allegations and insisted he had done nothing wrong.
Macarambon explained that he simply asked the Bureau of Customs then to recompute the taxes of his child's in-laws for P7 million in gold and jewelry they had bought.
He said his relatives were allegedly asked to pay P6 million and were asking for a recomputation. The amount was lowered to P1.38 million in December 2017.
Macarambon added that he plans to write to the President to air his side and clear his name.
-- report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News