Duterte sacks FDA director general Nela Charade Puno

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2019 05:13 PM | Updated as of May 17 2019 10:36 AM

FDA Director General Nela Charade Galang Puno during the Senate hearing on Dengvaxia vaccine on February 21, 2018. George Calvelo ABS-CBN News

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno due to alleged corruption, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Thursday.

In a letter addressed to Puno dated May 15, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the decision was in line with Duterte's anti-corruption drive.

"This is in line with the President's continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust," he said.

Duterte earlier said he would fire more government officials due to corruption.

In October last year, Puno's convoy was ambushed on the way to Daet, Camarines Norte. She was not hurt in the incident, but 3 police officers in her security detail were killed while 3 others were injured.

Puno is a licensed pharmacist who served as president of Rochar Cosmeceuticals Inc. prior to her appointment to the FDA in 2016.

ABS-CBN News has reached out to Puno for comment but she has yet to respond.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, appointed Undersecretary Rolando Enrique as officer-in-charge of the FDA, one of its attached agencies. --With a report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News