MANILA, Philippines - Even if the jueteng allegations are not true, it would be best for President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to let go of a favored member of the Cabinet, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said.
In an interview with radio dzMM, the administration ally said “hindi ko sinasabing tama ang alegasyon. Ang akin lang, ang sinuman na naninilbihan sa ilalim ng Pangulo na nagpapabigat, dapat pag-aralan nang dapat palitan o ilipat.”
(I’m not saying the allegations are true. However, anyone who is already a burden, should be fired or transferred.)
During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Tuesday, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz named Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno as 1 of 2 recipients of jueteng payola.
Puno already denied the allegations, saying it is just a smear job against him.
In Malacañang, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Puno should be given the chance to debunk the accusations.
Puno still enjoys the trust of Aquino, he said.
Escudero, however, said the jueteng scandal is not the only issue plaguing Puno.
The other day, a multi-sectoral task force also recommended that he be charged in connection with the hostage fiasco last August 23.
“Either let go or assign him to another office…Perhaps, he can do a better job in another, rather than this particular position,” he said.
A subordinate should always take the bullet for the President, not the other way around, he added.