PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte fired Martin Diño as chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, but will be appointing him to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Replacing Diño is Wilma Eisma who has been serving as SBMA administrator since January.
Eisma’s appointment papers were released by Malacañang on the same day that the Chief Executive issued Executive (EO) Order 42, repealing EO 340, which then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued in 2004.
EO 340 designates one SBMA Chairman and one SBMA Administrator.
EO 42 sealed Dino’s fate.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that President Duterte’s EO 42 was just being compliant with the existing Bases Conversion and Development Law of 1992, which provides that the SBMA chairman should also serve as the SBMA administrator.
“The two offices will be assumed by one person,” Abella told reporters.
Arroyo’s EO 340 separated the powers, functions and duties of the chairman of the SBMA Board and the administrator “in view of the multifarious requirements, functions and responsibilities of the administrator as ex-officio chairman of the SBMA Board and as chief executive officer of the SBMA; as well as to ensure the accomplishment of the Government’s target to develop the Subic Special Economic Zone as the best international service and logistics center in the region.”
In issuing EO 42, Duterte said that EO 340 “has created confusion with regard to the scope of authority, powers, functions and duties of the chairman of the SBMA Board and the administrator of the SBMA that has adversely affected the operations of the SBMA, as well as the numerous investors and locators therein.”
Diño’s dismissal came almost four months after he issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 01-2017, which created a task force under his office to “inspect, monitor and faithfully implement the laws in the conduct of business and financial operations and collections” of the SBMA.
When the House of Representatives launched an investigation on the issue, Diño agreed to shelve his AO and left it for the President to decide whether it should be implemented.
Diño, however, remains under the good graces of the President since he would be appointed to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“It (Diño’s appointment) has been on the table for so long. We are just waiting [for his appointment papers],” Acting DILG Chief Catalino Cuy said in a statement.
In a chance interview with reporters on Tuesday, Diño said that he was thankful to the President but did not mention about his possible post in the DILG.
“Thank you. Thanks…for everything,” Diño said in his message to the President.
In the May 2016 elections, Diño was the originally registered standard-bearer of PDP-Laban before he withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) and named as his substitute Duterte, also a member of the same party.
Diño’s daughter, Liza, serves as the chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Liza is also married to Commissioner Cariza Seguerra of the National Youth Commission.