Duterte accepts Nayong Pilipino chief's resignation after mega vax facility row

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2021 12:19 PM | Updated as of May 13 2021 01:43 PM

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MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the resignation of the executive director of Nayong Pilipino Foundation following the controversy surrounding the construction of a mega vaccination center in its property, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday.

Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto tendered her resignation last week, and Duterte has accepted it, Nograles said. 

"I don’t know under what particular details it was accepted. It was just a resignation and then it was accepted. But as far as asking for explanation or anything like that, not to my knowledge," Nograles told ANC's Headstart.

In an earlier interview with ANC's Matters of Fact, Malilong-Isberto said she left her post because she did not "like being rushed into doing things that are iffy."

She said that while NPF had already approved the use of the land as a vaccination facility on April 8, there was still no memorandum of agreement between the NPF and another government agency.

"In this case, we were waiting for DOH (Department of Health). It would be illegal for Nayong Pilipino to give the land for free use to ICTSI Foundation on the basis of a mere letter and a YouTube video," she said. 

"So, what we want is for the law to be followed, which means that the memorandum of agreement should be with the proper government agency and should be clear as to what exactly will be done in Nayong Pilipino," she added.

The ICTSI Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of billionaire Enrique Razon Jr's global port operating firm, earlier offered to build the vaccination facility at no cost to the government. The center is reportedly eyed to increase inoculation by around 10,000 daily.

In a separate interview, Razon denied that construction of the mega vaccination facility would destroy an urban forest in the area.

"She should resign. She is peddling lies all over social media. I don't know what her motives are," he said.

"It's very suspicious. We must have interrupted some ongoing deal."

ANC, May 13, 2021