'Good soldier' Diño denies ouster from SBMA
MANILA - (UPDATED) Former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chair Martin Diño on Thursday said he did not resign nor was he removed from his post, insisting that he received an offer from Malacañang to serve at the Department of Interior and Local Government.
"Hindi ako tinanggal, hindi ako nag-resign," he told ANC's Headstart.
Diño said he met with President Rodrigo Duterte last month, after a meeting called by Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea regarding the offer.
“Sinabi ko sa kaniya na good soldier ako at tatalima ako dun sa (SBMA)...Basta’t sinabi ko sa kaniyang lahat ng inutos niya sa akin ay ginawa ko dun sa SBMA, gaya na linisin ang SBMA," he said.
However, in a press briefing at Malacañang around noon, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the offer to Diño "has been superseded."
"As far as I am privy to, the offer was made earlier, much earlier. However, that was apparently before this situation occurred, where he was replaced," he told reporters.
"Apparently there was an incident. As far as I know, apparently there was an incident where it was, it may have been offered. However, this was prior to the replacement," he added.
SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma on Tuesday took oath as concurrent chairperson of the agency.
It came in the wake of the President’s signing of Executive Order No. 42, which repealed EO 340 issued by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004.
The old order separated the “powers, functions and duties of the Chairman of the SBMA Board and the Administrator as Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA.”