MANILA - (UPDATE) Former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chair Martin Diño on Thursday said the supposed petitions by locals to remove him from his post was initiated by his successor.
During an interview with ANC's Headstart, Diño said he suspects it was SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma, who on Monday was appointed as concurrent chair of the agency, who was behind the complaints against him.
"Sabi nga may petition daw yung locals. Si Eisma, siyempre siya yung nagpa-pirma sa petition na alisin ako kaya kahit hindi ko pa sila naka-usap, hindi nila ako binigyan ng chance na makilala kung sino ako," he said in the interview.
Diño however refused to answer categorically when asked if he believes Senator Richard Gordon, former chair of SBMA and Eisma's supposed mentor, urged Duterte to replace him.
"Hindi ko (alam), pero nakita mo naman ang ginawa ni Senator Gordon para sa Presidente—yung support niya sa Presidente," he said.
"Kaya ako, naiintindihan ko yan. Kung kailangan na ako na naman yung maging sacrifice—mahilig ako sa sacrifice," he added.
Eisma denied Diño's allegation, saying she "never solicited anything in my favor nor against him."
"The more important issue here is that the President has spoken. Mr. Dino has time and again said that the President is the only one who can settle this issue and now he has," she told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
In a phone interview with ANC, Eisma said she was unaware of any supposed petition for the ouster of Diño.
"There's no petition. To be honest, I don't know what he's talking about," she said.
Eisma also explained that the issue within the SBMA was never "personal" and that Diño simply cannot accept that he wasn't appointed administrator.
"The problem of Mr. Dino is not about me. It’s about the fact that he couldn’t accept that he wasn’t appointed administrator...The issue here is never personal. It’s about Mr. Dino not accepting his position and what he can and cannot do," she said.
NOT DISAPPOINTED WITH DUTERTE
Diño, former chairperson of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, said he bears no ill feelings towards Duterte, who replaced him as PDP-Laban's presidential candidate in the 2016 polls.
"Hindi ako disappointed sa kaniya dahil unang una, yung pagka-appoint ko dito sa SBMA, hindi naman ito bayad-utang na sinasabi nila," he said.
"Para sa akin, yung ginawa ng Presidente na maibalik yung peace and order, maibalik niya yung against criminality na campaign niya, yung security lang ng pamilya ko…okay na sa akin yun kasi yan din naman yung promise namin during the campaign," he added.
Diño announced Wednesday that he has accepted an offer to serve as an undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for barangay affairs.
Although Malacañang has said he has not been given a new appointment yet, Diño maintained that the offer was made by Duterte and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
"Wala naman akong sinabing in-appoint ako. Ang sabi ko, in-offer-an ako. Kung matuloy o hindi, it’s up to them, basta ito yung totoo: pinatawag nila ako dyan," he said.