President Duterte has accepted the resignation of Jesus G. Dureza as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process after the latter took full responsibility of alleged corruption in his former agency.
Dureza’s resignation came after the President sacked two Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process officials due to corruption allegations. Mr. Duterte did not provide more on details.
“We commend the former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for taking full responsibility and issuing an apology under the principle of command responsibility for the transgressions committed by his two subordinates. His resignation has set a concrete example and put a true meaning to the value of delicadeza and morality in governance. This is leadership by example,” Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo said in a news statement issued on Wednesday.
In an earlier interview, Mr. Duterte said Dureza resigned, citing command responsibility.
“Well, Secretary Dureza… treated it as a matter of command responsibility. So he thought that it was only proper that with the involvement of his two subordinates he offered to resign and I accepted his resignation,” he said.
In a letter addressed to the President, Dureza said he is tendering his resignation “to pave the way for the needed reorganization” that the President may wish to undertake at OPAPP.
“I am sad because despite my efforts to be compliant with your strong advocacy against corruption, I failed,” he said. “Nonetheless, I take full responsibility and apologize for all this.”
President Duterte fired Ronald Flores and Atty. Yeshter Donn Baccay who served as Undersecretary for Support Services and Pamana National Program Management Office and Assistant Secretary for Support Services and Pamana Concerns, respectively.
Malacañang said on Wednesday that the President’s “immediate termination” of the two officials serves as another warning for all government officials that no person is exempted from the administration’s high and exacting standards of honesty in public service.
“Their termination also underscores that the President remains resolute in stamping out corruption in the bureaucracy, which includes offices which are specialized in particular fields of governance. Like the war on drugs, the war on corruption must be fought unremittingly,” Panelo said.
The development also comes amid the fallout of peace talks between the government and the communist rebels.
Earlier, Dureza and Panelo were asked by the President to meet with National Democratic Front leader Luis Jalandoni, and his colleague, Fidel Agcaoili to have an “informal chat” and explore the possibility of resuming peace talks.
However, reports said Jalandoni canceled his trip back to the country due to threat of arrest by government authorities.
As for Agcaoili, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said that Agcaoili may also cancel his scheduled return to the country as he also wants to be assured that there will be no threat against him.
But last week the President assured that there will be no arrest for communist leaders once they return to the Philippines.