Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Tuesday voluntarily resigned from his post following allegations of corruption against two officials from his office.
In his letter addressed to President Duterte, Dureza said he is glad “but with some amount of sadness” about the President’s decision to terminate the two officials.
“I truly am sad that OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process), as an institution which I head, had to suffer publicly due to the acts of a few,” Dureza said in his letter, which was shared to the media shortly after the President announced that he has accepted the peace adviser’s resignation.
“Nonetheless, I take full responsibility and apologize for all this. I am voluntarily tendering my resignation to pave the way for the needed reorganization that Your Excellency may wish to undertake at OPAPP,” he added.
Dureza also told Duterte how he gathered evidence against the officials to support the accusations against them.
“After talking to some local officials whom we personally knew for sometime now, I was able to validate some reports, but they declined to be officially quoted, for obvious reasons,” he said.
“I am sad because despite my efforts to be compliant with your strong advocacy against corruption, I failed,” he added.
Dureza further noted that he left the OPAPP internal functions “to appropriate officials while I concentrated my attention on the big task of dealing with challenges of peace.”
“I even installed an internal Ombudsman with an outside lawyer to help validate and gather evidence due to persistent rumors about corruption. I even took efforts to publicly warn the public through the social and mainstream media against corruption in the implementation of PAMANA projects and requested information with assurances of confidentially of the source,” he noted.
Earlier, Duterte announced that he had fired two officials from Dureza’s office – Undersecretary Ronald Flores and Assistant Secretary Yeshter Donn Baccay.
Flores is Undersecretary for Support Services and National Program Manager of PAMANA or the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan program, the OPAPP’s development arm. Baccay is Assistant Secretary for Support Services and PAMANA Concerns. /ee
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