OPS: Only Palace order recognized amid PEZA leadership row

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2022 08:18 PM

Photo of Charito Plaza. Photo from Charito B. Plaza's FB page (left); PEZA Officer-in-Charge Tereso Panga. Photo from PEZA
Photo of Charito Plaza. Photo from Charito B. Plaza's FB page (left); PEZA Officer-in-Charge Tereso Panga. Photo from PEZA


MANILA — Malacañang has yet to clarify who should sit as officer-in-charge at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) amid the ongoing confusion over the agency’s leadership, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Friday.

This, as President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has yet to appoint the director-general of PEZA.

Asked for clarification on the matter, Cruz-Angeles said the Palace will strictly implement its Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 1 which declared as vacant the positions of coterminous appointments of former President Rodrigo Duterte, and MC no. 3, which extended the authority of OICs until December 31, 2022.

“Ang kinikilala natin will be ang kung ano yung angkop under MC 1 and 3. Kung sino po yung OIC,” Angeles said. 

The official, however, could not yet say whether this continues to be Director General Charito Plaza, or Deputy Director General Tereso Panga, who was earlier appointed OIC by Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

Plaza, who was appointed to the agency by Duterte, insisted she is still PEZA’s chief until Malacañang announces her replacement.

PEZA is not recognized by the Governance Commission as a GOCC, but Plaza claimed that the court identified it as a government instrumentality in a case against Lapu-Lapu City in 2014. 

"Susunod lang ako sa Malacañang order (I will only follow an order from Malacanang),” Plaza earlier said in an interview with ABS-CBN.

Plaza has refused to leave office pending the clarification of Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez on the issue. 

“Tulad ng sinabi ko bago po kasi itong development na ito. Bigay ko ang info as soon as I get it,” Cruz-Angeles said.

“It will be subject to the usual procedures. Once received, the OES will immediately act on it either by studying the matter and reffering it to deputy legal or if the answer is clear already they will simply make the recommendations right away,” she added. 

— With reports from Wena Cos and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

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