Controversial DICT exec Salazar resigns

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2022 06:14 PM


MANILA — Former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairman Jose Vicente Salazar has resigned from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), its head said on Tuesday. 

"Actually he already tendered his resignation. He's no longer with DICT," Secretary Ivan Uy told the Commission on Appointments (CA). 

Salazar, in a resignation letter addressed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. dated Nov. 23, cited his wife’s health condition that required his “constant physical presence in her healing process.”

“It is unfortunate that I will now have to tip the balance in favor of my [wife’s] pressing needs,” his letter read. 

The family of the late ERC director Francisco Jose Villa Jr. in August wrote an open letter to Marcos, appealing that he "rescind the appointment" of Salazar and "enforce the decision" of former President Rodrigo Duterte "to bar him from public service forever." 

Salazar was sacked from the ERC in October 2017 after he was found guilty of 2 counts of simple misconduct and one count of grave misconduct in connection to corruption charges. 

Villa had tagged Salazar in the rigging of the selection process for an audio visual presentation project. He denied any wrongdoing and said the deal to produce infomercials and campaign materials was still in the inception stage.

He also denied involvement in any procurement process in the ERC, as well as rushing the boardroom renovation and the purchase of a coaster long-sought by the employees union in time for his birthday. 

Villa killed himself in November 2016 after supposedly being pressured to approve procurement contracts and hiring consultants without proper bidding and procedure, his family had said.

CA member Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel earlier warned Uy against keeping Salazar. 

"This person is a chronic corrupt... You should get rid of this person," Pimentel told Uy.
 
The lawmaker said Uy had recommended Salazar's appointment at the DICT. But Uy said he only knew of Salazar on the "professional level." 

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