MANILA - Former Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) head Rudolf Philip Jurado reiterated he did not receive hefty allowances aside from his regular salary, contrary to the millions of pesos received by Solicitor General Jose Calida which was flagged by the Commission on Audit.
In a statement sent to reporters, Jurado said he did not accept a single centavo from the allowances he was supposed to get for lawyering for different Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).
“When I was the government corporate counsel from April 2017 to May 2018 I did not get and refused to accept the monthly allowances which I was supposed to receive as [government corporate counsel] from our various client GOCCs amounting to Php 500,000. I also refused to get and receive allowances from our various 350 water district clients,” Jurado said.
Jurado was recently fired by President Duterte for a legal opinion on the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and a casino operation which did not sit well with the President.
His very public dismissal was preceded by a complaint sent by lawyers of the OGCC to radio station DZMM complaining of his alleged abuses.
In his reply, Jurado said OGCC lawyers were just getting back at him after he was “constrained” to inform their client GOCCs to cease or refrain from giving secret allowances to OGCC laywers.
The message he sent to GOCCs was the subject of the 2017 audit report on the OGCC of the Commission on Audit which asked for the refund of allowances received by 5 OGCC lawyers from GOCCs which exceeded the limit of 50 percent of their annual salary.
Jurado emphasized that had he accepted the allowances offered to him, he would have surpassed the P7.46 million excess allowances received by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“All allowances that I was supposed to receive from our almost 120 GOCCs and about 350 water district clients, sa GOCCs around 500k a month then sa water districts sabihin mo na lang na 1k per month sa 350 that would be 350k a month, talo ko pa si SolGen around 850k a month ang more or less na allowances ko,” Jurado said.
The excess allowances received by Calida and other lawyers of the Office of the Solicitor General was the subject of the latest COA report which asked Calida and his lawyers to return a total of P10.77 million to the OSG trust fund.
While Calida, who was recently defended by President Duterte from various controversies, is still serving in government, Jurado has already accepted his dismissal from government service and will be going back to private law practice.
He also sent a letter to the President to explain his legal opinion on APECO and the casino operation at at the same time to thank the President for his stint at the OGCC.