Duterte received 'numerous' complaints on ex-FDA chief Puno- Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2019 06:50 PM

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has received "numerous" complaints regarding former Food and Drug Administration director-general Nela Charade Puno, his spokesman revealed Wednesday.

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

"The President also wants to share to the public that he has received numerous, as in numerous complaints from doctors, including his own doctor about the former director general (Puno), and many complaints from other sectors," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

Puno, earlier this week, described the corruption allegations against her as "clear attack" on her character.

"I respect the President. It's just that if they wanted me out, they could have just talked to me because this is a clear attack of my character. I have asked them. There's no response," she said.

Panelo also cited a letter from the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) which lauded Duterte for terminating Puno.

"We fully support your resolute actions at the DFA, including the replacement of its director general, for us to effectively and efficiently conduct commerce that is consistent with your agenda of increasing competitiveness and ease of doing business to fuel human capital and economic development," PHAP executive director Teodoro Padilla told the President in a letter dated May 17.

The Duterte spokesman said findings of the Commission on Audit and other documents would also be forwarded to the Department of Justice for possible filing of charges against Puno.

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