INFORMATION and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima resigned from his post “out of delicadeza” and due to “conflict of interest,” President Rodrigo Duterte has said.
Speaking to reporters in Marawi City on Thursday evening, Duterte confirmed that the former Globe Telecom executive submitted his resignation letter on Wednesday night.
“He (Salalima) used to work for a telecom company. He was the VP (vice president)…I would not say that he’s guilty. [It’s] out of delicadeza,” Duterte told reporters.
According to Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella, Salalima cited personal and work-related reasons in his resignation letter. Salalima, a law school classmate of the President, was in the Cabinet for 14 months.
“Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima of the DICT has tendered his letter of resignation to the President, citing personal and work-related reasons,” Abella said on Thursday.
Before joining Duterte’s Cabinet, Salalima was senior vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs of Globe, the telecom joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Singtel of Singapore.
Salalima was also the president of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators, Inc.
In 2011, he was tapped as Asia-Pacific representative and vice chairman of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council Working Group for the Amendment of the ITU Constitution and Convention based in Geneva, Switzerland.
He was board director and corporate and chief counsel of Radio Communications of the Philippines (RCPI) and vice president and head of legal and human relations of International Communications Corp. (later renamed Bayantel).
In 2015, Salalima authored the book “Telecommunications in the Information Revolution,” a treatise and law book on the national policy on telecommunications, published by the UP Law Center.
Salalima is a magna cum laude graduate in philosophy and law of San Beda College in Manila.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he hoped the resignation of Salalima would not lead to the “low-batt, offline” implementation of projects and reforms in the information and communications technology sector,
“After power and water, broadband is the third utility, and that importance is reflected in the national budget, which authorizes billions of pesos in making internet ‘fast, free and fair,” Recto said in a statement.
“So I hope that the Department of Information and Communications Technology, despite being the youngest department, has a deep talent pool from where Secretary Salalima’s replacement will be picked so there will be no—to use a telco term—service interruption,” he said.