Fired urban poor commissioner gets new appointment

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2018 01:45 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2018 02:50 PM

Manuel L. Serra, Jr., Photo from PCUP website

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed a fired Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor commissioner to another government post, even as critics accuse the chief executive of “recycling” officials accused of corruption.

Duterte appointed on June 6 Manuel L. Serra Jr. as member of the governing board of the Philippine Coconut Authority.

Serra will serve the unexpired term of Abundio Edicio Dela Torre which started on July 1, 2017 and will end on June 30 this year.

Serra was among the five PCUP commissioners fired by the President in December last year for making foreign junkets.

Serra once served as inspector officer of Davao City’s demolition office.

Aside from Serra, another fired PCUP commissioner, Melissa Avanceña Aradanas, was also appointed in March this year as deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Aradanas is a cousin of the President’s partner, Honeylet Avanceña.

The Palace has defended Duterte’s supposed habit of reappointing officials previously fired for corruption.

This practice, critics say, has put into question Duterte’s sincerity in fighting corruption in government.

But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the practice was an exception than a rule.

“It’s political season. Expect more statements like these especially for those seeking reelection,” Roque said of Duterte’s critics.

“But as far as the President is concerned he has fired [at least] 20, all of whom were very close to him.”

Aside from Serra and Aradanas, Duterte also appointed to other government posts former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon and former Social Security System Commissioner Pompee La Viña to other government posts.

Faeldon left Customs over a controversial P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China. He was later appointed as deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.

The President sacked La Viña as SSS commissioner, only to appoint him to the tourism department and then the agriculture department.