The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) has sacked its former executive director Nelson Devanadera over alleged irregularities, reliable sources at the agency have told Palawan News.
Devanadera, who is not yet due to retire till March this year, has been relieved of his post even as PCSD refrained from explaining its action.
Devanadera was ordered instead to report to the Office of the Governor for the duration of his term.
His relief was announced in a press statement designating at the same time former legal chief Adelle Villena as acting executive director.
“We don’t want to preempt if there’s a case or not”
PCSD spokesperson Jovic Fabello, when asked to comment on reports a complaint had been filed against Devanadera before the Ombudsman, said they will neither “confirm nor deny.”
“We can’t confirm nor deny that alleged Ombudsman case because we don’t want to pre-empt if there really is a case or not,” he said.
Interviewed by Palawan News on Wednesday, Devanadera downplayed his reassignment as a “transition of powers.”
“I no longer have the authority to speak about PCSD since Monday. Regularly, in an office setting, the transition would take 90 days. The decision is very true and right,” he told Palawan News.
Winston Arzaga, Provincial Information Officer (PIO), said that Devanadera’s new deployment to the Office of the Governor is not a “freezer assignment”. He said that Devanadera will be acting as a “consultant” related to his expertise in environment and sustainable development affairs.
“It’s not a ‘freezer assignment’. This boils down mostly to the transition and putting his affairs in order before he retires,” Arzaga said.
“It’s not related to the case allegedly filed against him, but solely related to his retirement. PCSD wanted to give him ample time to comply with all the mandatory requirements before his retirement in March,” Fabello added.
Meanwhile, Resolution No. 20-695 expressly provided that the PCSD intends Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta to assume the position, which may result in another set of transition.
After Devanadera’s forced retirement on March 30, 2020, the Council will have to undergo a nomination process that will be scrutinized by its board of directors (BOD) composed of multiple agencies related to the environment-related governing bodies.
Arzaga said that in case of Matta’s appointment in March, he will have to focus on PCSD and will have to be relieved off of his other agencies, including the Peace and Order Program (POP) and Provincial Legal Office (PLO) of the provincial government.