FDA financial records to be reviewed after chief's dismissal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2019 05:48 PM

MANILA- Financial records of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are subject for review following the dismissal of its chief, Nela Charade Puno, the agency's new officer-in-charge bared Friday.

This is to check whether there are discrepancies in the accounting documents of the agency, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, who was appointed new OIC of the FDA, said.

"Sa ngayon kailangan makita muna namin yung mga dokumento para makita yung transaksyon para malaman kung ano yung katiwalian kung meron man," he told ABS-CBN News in an interview.

(For now, we have to see the documents to review the transactions for alleged corruption if there are.)

"Kailangan tignan natin, hindi lang naman kasi sa pinuno kundi hanggang sa lahat. Yung buong plantilla natin ay susuriin natin kung saan mayrong problema at kung saan dapat mayroong ayusin," he said.

(We have to review not just the records of the chief but everyone. We'll review everything to see where the problem lies and how we could fix it.)

The FDA is an attached agency of the health department tasked to monitor and regulate the flow of food, drugs, and cosmetics in the Philippines.

Domingo said orders to review the financial records of the FDA came from Health Chief Francisco Duque III.

Malacañang announced Thursday the termination of Puno, citing "the President's continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption" as the grounds for her removal.

Puno, in a statement Friday, said she accepted her termination "without ill-feelings," but underscored that she was "clueless" about the corruption allegations that led to her dismissal.

"I leave FDA with a clear conscience and what I believe to be a clean record," she said.

The health department is also willing to coordinate with Malacañang should the Office of the President pursue an investigation into the corruption allegations against Puno, Domingo said.

"Kung magkakaroon man ng imbestigasyon, tutulong tayo at ibibigay natin lahat ng kinakailangan," Domingo said.

-report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News