MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he has yet to find a new post for outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and a replacement for former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
Faeldon had to leave his post amid calls from lawmakers outraged over the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” from the Port of Manila. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña will replace Faeldon.
Taguiwalo, on the other hand, left the DSWD after the powerful Commission on Appointments rejected her ad interim appointment.
Duterte admitted that he was having a hard time finding a new DSWD chief.
For Duterte, Taguiwalo’s ties to the left may be the reason her stint DSWD chief was cut short.
“She was suspected, hindi naman lahat, but people were [saying] the bulk of money went to pangtawid nabigay sa mga NPA (New People’s Army),” Duterte said, referring to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the country’s flagship poverty alleviation program.
“Pagka pagkain huwag mo ng pigilan iyan. Kung ang pera na binibigay ni Taguiwalo ay para sa mahihirap, may mahirap na NPA, may gutom na NPA, okay na ako.”
The former DSWD chief had lamented that Duterte did not seem to keep his faith in her, amid criticism that the President did not do enough to spare her from a CA rejection.
Taguiwalo, who was chosen by the President’s erstwhile allies from the Left, suspected that her stand on the pork barrel and the tax reform package scuttled her appointment.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he has told Faeldon to take some time off while he has yet to find a suitable post for the former Customs chief.
“I don't know if he’s willing to work again or not,” the President said.
The President accepted Faeldon’s resignation offer days before Senator Panfilo Lacson accused the former Marine of being involved in corrupt practices the Customs bureau.