Pres. Duterte Demands PNOC-EC Chief’s Resignation

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Pedro Aquino Jr., president and CEO of the Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), to tender his resignation after being embroiled in a corruption issue, Malacañang announced.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President arrived at the decision after losing trust in Aquino.

“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has asked Attorney Pedro A. Aquino Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of the PNOC – Exploration Corp., to submit his resignation as such before the Office of the President, for loss of confidence,” Panelo said in a statement.

“The President’s order is still in line, and pursuant to his anti-corruption campaign in the government, and underscores once again that there are no sacred cows under this administration,” he added.

Panelo, however, did not elaborate on the supposed corruption allegations hurled against Aquino.

He, nonetheless, noted that Duterte’s latest directive should serve as a reminder to public servants that the President’s anti-corruption drive in government remains relentless.

“We reiterate the directive of the President to all officials and employees of the government to undertake actions, which are only pursuant to what the law provides in the performance of their official functions and desist from committing any act that are — or may appear to be — irregular, illegal or dishonest,” Panelo said.

In a separate statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian revealed that Aquino was initially slapped with a 30-day suspension following the state oil exploration corporation chief’s unauthorized investment deal with a Russian oil firm.

The PCOC-EC, Russian oil giant Rosneft Oil Co., and Hong Kong-based firm Pionaire Finance Ltd. sealed a trilateral agreement at an International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia in June 2017.

Gatchalian said Aquino had entered into the deal without permission from the PNOC-EC Board or Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. (PNA)

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