Duterte orders SBMA chief to sue grafters


“Sue them.”

President Rodrigo Duterte issued this marching order to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Martin Dino after the latter brought to the chief executive’s attention a number of spurious transactions he uncovered.

“They keep on saying President Duterte wants change. Yes, and he told me to change SBMA and go after grafters who enriched themselves [while in power]for six years,” Dino said.

When asked to cite some of these deals that reeked of graft, Dino replied: “There are plenty and you’ll be surprised.”

“There’s this one transaction under the previous administration wherein P50 million was spent for CCTV [closed circuit television]cameras but these were not found anywhere around SBMA. Where did the CCTV cameras go?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Dino said he also discussed with the President, among others, the confusion resulting from the appointment of OIC Administrator Randy Escolango whose papers were signed only by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on October 19. Dino said Duterte was not even aware of Escolango’s designation.

“He [president]asked [special assistant to the president Christopher]Bong Go what it is all about and instructed him [Go] to iron things out,” he added.

The SMBA chairman suspected that money could have changed hands surrounding Escolango’s appointment, noting that the official himself has been bragging about the certainty of his appointment in exchange for “P5 million.”

Dino said he will find out if the allegation was true and unmask the officials who may have been involved in the alleged transaction.

Prior to being named OIC Administrator in October, Escolango served as the SBMA deputy administrator for legal affairs.


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