MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino yesterday explained that he appointed Interior and Local Government
Secretary Jesse Robredo in an acting capacity because he is still observing if they would be able to work together in the long run.
Mr. Aquino said he observed differences in their working styles during the campaign period.
Malacañang officials earlier said Robredo was appointed in an acting capacity from the beginning. Because of this, his name would not be submitted to the Commission on Appointments (CA) for confirmation.
Members of the Senate contingent in the commission have said they would question Robredo on his role in the Aug. 23 hostage crisis. Mr. Aquino earlier said that during the hostage-taking crisis, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno was in charge of the police.
“We have to make sure that we can really work with each other. It does no good to get him (Robredo) through the process of the CA only at the end of the day to find out that there might be difficulties in our working styles,” Mr. Aquino told reporters in a chance interview after a mass oath-taking at the Palace.
Mr. Aquino said Robredo would continue to serve in acting capacity for the meantime.
Robredo, who supposedly has no authority over the Philippine National Police (PNP), had issued a memorandum to all officials of the DILG claiming he has the sole authority to assign and transfer police personnel.
The memorandum dated Aug. 9 was sent to all DILG undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, bureaus and service directors 14 days before the hostage-taking incident.
Robredo said he issued the memorandum to comply with the legal requirements that only the DILG secretary has the sole authority to move a police officer from one assignment to another.
“In order to ensure the approval of permissible and sound requests for the detail of police personnel to DILG offices/officials as well as facilitate their implementation... be informed that the undersigned shall be the sole approving authority of department orders on the detail or extension of detail of police personnel to offices within or outside the department,” Robredo said in his memo.
Robredo said he issued the memorandum in response to the letter of PNP-Senior Police Assistant Superintendent Francisco Peñaflor Jr. dated Aug. 3, 2010 asking for clarification on the detail status of PO2 Juvenal Taguiam Gunayon, PO2 Romeo Manalo Rogelio and PO2 Epifanio Frilles Nuguit Jr. to the Interior and Local Government office, which were extended by Puno. Sources have said that even before the hostage-taking incident, there has been conflict between the two Interior officials.
Aurea Calica, Philippine Star