PIA chief blasts corruption allegations as demolition job

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2019 03:31 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2019 04:53 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)- Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Harold Clavite slammed Tuesday an investigation on corruption allegations against him as a demolition job.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday said Clavite was being investigated by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), noting that the probe was not supposed to be made public. The PIA is under Andanar's office.

Clavite claimed that the allegations against him were based on an anonymous letter sent to Andanar. He lamented how the PCOO made the investigation against him public even though he has yet to respond formally.

"They should have been more circumspect in their public pronouncements. I have yet to submit my official response to PCOO and they already made public statements which I find appalling and unfair," Clavite said in a statement.

"The allegations are done based on an intent to demolish and undermine my person and authority due to the reforms I have established in the agency," he said.

Clavite noted how "quickly and easily" the PCOO made public corruption allegations against him based on a supposed anonymous letter as compared to the lack of action on a complaint he sent through Andanar's office to the Office of the Executive Secretary on alleged irregularities in the PIA.

"While people affected in the reforms that I have established in PIA are doing ways to discredit me, there should be no room for any biases and PCOO should be more objective in dealing with such considering my excellent performance in the past 2 years," he said.

Marvin Gatpayat, PCOO undersecretary for legal affairs, said Clavite was given until Thursday, June 13 to respond to the corruption allegations against him.

As to the complaint submitted by Clavite, Gatpayat said the PCOO is still studying it before submitting it to the Office of the Executive Secretary.

"The report being referred to addressed to ES was received by our office only last week, we are currently studying it. It contains general statements and allegations that we need to verify first before we take action. We are also determining if the actions stated in the letter indeed amount to any administrative liability," Gatpayat told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

The PIA chief said he ordered concerned officers and personnel in his agency to provide details on the corruption allegations.