May 17, 2019
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Nela Charade Puno for alleged corruption, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Duterte, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, gave the notice of termination on Wednesday.
It is effective immediately.
“This is in line with the President’s mandate to eradicate graft and corruption and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust,” the letter read.
The Department of Health named Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo as officer in charge to ensure the continuous and uninterrupted operations of the FDA until the appointment of a new director general.
Duterte ordered Puno to turn over all documents, papers and properties to the Department of Health to ensure uninterrupted delivery of services.
Puno, the youngest to head the FDA, was appointed by Duterte in 2016.
The firing came weeks after Duterte said he would sack several government officials due to corruption.
“I will leave for China, and before that I will leave so many letters of dismissal,” he said during the opening ceremony of the seventh Union Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Pasay City last month.
Duterte had sacked several high-ranking officials and heads of offices accused of corruption, excessive travels and abuse of power.
Those fired include former Interior and Local Government secretary Ismael Sueno, National Irrigation Administration chief Peter Lavina, Social Security System commissioner Jose Gabriel “Pompee” Lavina; Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro 3rd, Commission on Higher Education chief Patricia Licuanan, and Presidential Commission for Urban Poor chairman Terry Ridon and commissioners Melissa Aradanas, Manuel Serra Jr. and Joan Lagunda, among others.
Malacañang also earlier announced the firing of Brig. Gene Edwin Torrelavega, the chief of the V. Luna Hospital, and Col. Antonio Punzalan, the head of the logistics office of the military hospital, for alleged anomalous purchases of equipment and engaging in fraudulent transactions.
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