President Rodrigo Duterte has fired National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo Masongsong due to the latter’s supposed involvement in corrupt activities.

Duterte made the pronouncement in his pre-recorded Talk to the People delivered Friday night but aired Saturday morning.

The President said he booted Masongsong out of office upon the recommendation of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

“I dismiss him from public service,” he said. “PACC conducted an investigation and made the recommendation for his dismissal. So, I have approved.”

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In May, the PACC disclosed that it had filed a case against Masongsong before the Office of the Ombudsman over his supposed inaction on the alleged use of public funds for the campaign activities of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca) party-list.

The commission said Masongsong has violated the Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines when he allowed the electric cooperatives (ECs) continued financial support to Philreca.

Created on Aug. 4, 1969, under RA 6038, the NEA is a state corporation that is in partnership with 121 ECs. It is mandated to provide financial, institutional, and technical services to the ECs to make them more efficient, reliable, and globally competitive.

On the other hand, Philreca, the umbrella organization of the 121 ECs nationwide, has received financial assistance from them to finance its campaign activities.

Duterte said Masongsong’s dismissal shows his desire to rid the government of corrupt public workers.

“I’m given the opportunity to show to the people again that we are not bragging about it but we are trying our best to cope up with the situation regarding graft and corruption in our government,” he said. “It’s very important. People must be informed. They must realize that we are working for the government.”

Duterte said he wants to correct the public perception that his administration is corrupt by proving to them that he is doing his best to stop corruption.

“People are really skeptic and cynic about our desire to improve government service,” he said. “So, we have to correct that perception because it will destroy the faith of the people in government.” (PNA)

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