MALACANANG dared resigned Information and Communications secretary Rodolfo Salalima to substantiate his allegations of “corruption and interference” at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the statement after Salalima told DICT employees that the corruption and interference in the agency were the two reasons for his resignation.
“Whoever seems to have information should (come out). If he (Salalima) makes any claims, it should be substantial,” Abella told reporters.
“If that’s his point, we just have to take him for what he says. But you know, there’s really [something]disturbing there, then this matter needs to be pursued, if it’s truly there and if it’s truly disturbing,” he added.
Salalima called for an emergency general meeting on Friday with DICT employees to explain his decision to step down after leading the agency for 14 months.
“The deal was ‘no interference, no corruption,'” Salalima said, referring to his talk with President Rodrigo Duterte before accepting the job to head the newest government agency in the country.
Salalima made vague references to favors which he rejected and the struggle to do “the right thing” while heading the DICT.
“I resisted pressures. On the issue of interference, it was not obeyed. Because of that, I had and must
resign,” Salalima said, as he apologized to DICT employees for not consulting with them about his plans to step down.
Salalima tendered his resignation on Thursday.
Duterte said Salalima resigned out of “delicadeza,” and confirmed he submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Abella said Duterte was looking for the best replacement for Salalima, who formerly worked as chief counsel of a telecommunications firm and was the President’s classmate at the San Beda law school.
“At this stage, wala pa akong natatanggap kung sino talaga ang papalit…. Alam mo kasi, hinahanap lagi niya, somebody he can trust. It’s always a matter of trust,” Abella said.
(At this stage, I have not received any word about his replacement. You know, he is always looking for someone he can trust.) CATHERINE S. VALENTE