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Puno resigns as DILG undersecretary

INTERIOR Secretary Rico Puno resigned on Tuesday as interior and local government undersecretary amid allegations of   his involvement in the purchase of  assault rifles for the police’s Special Action Force supposedly at an overprice and  attempt to access documents of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Puno said in a statement he was  following the orders of President Benigno S. Aquino III to secure Robredo’s condominium unit in Quezon City when he went there on Aug. 19, one day after Robredo was reported missing following a plane crash.    The President has confirmed giving the order.

At the time of his death, Robredo was said to have been investigating a number of irregularities at the DILG, including the purchase 59,000 assault rifles that were supposedly overpriced.  Puno was in charge of the PNP.  (Related story: Puno visited Israeli firm blacklisted in India for corruption)

The President  has accepted Puno’s resignation.

Puno’s statement in full:

As Undersecretary for Peace and Order in the DILG, I am entrusted with duties and responsibilities that involve strict confidence, security and protocol. Violating the confidential nature of my duties may expose people to danger or jeopardize critical operations.  Hence, I am duty-bound to act with restraint and circumspection, even when subjected to personal attacks in the mass media.  This is why I have opted not to react to the speculative accusations that have been hurled against me by some media organizations.This is the chronology of events that transpired on August 18 and 19, 2012 as I followed the orders of the President:

Saturday, August 18, 2012
2045 H (8:45 pm)
(Mactan Cebu
International  Airport)
Boarded the Cebu Pacific flight to Manila
When I was about to board, the President called and instructed me to secure the offices of Secretary Robredo. I relayed the instructions to Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, deputy chief of the Office of Internal Security in Secretary Robredo’s office.
2230 H (10:30 pm)
(NAIA 3 Terminal)
Arrived in Manila
2330 H (11:30 pm)
PNP Director-General’s
Quarters, Camp Crame
“White House”
Proceeded to the PNP Director-General’s Quarters
Among those present there were Usec. Austere
Panadero, PNP Director-General Nicanor Bartolome, Ms.
Joan de la Cruz, a member of Secretary Robredo’s staff and S/Supt. Tanseco.The President called again and I reported the offices have been secured.
Sunday, August 19
0900 H (9:00 am) Supervised sealing of  Secretary Robredo’s Office at DILG Quezon City accompanied by the following:
S/Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, Chief Inspector Apollo Togonon and other security officers of Sec. Robredo.
0930 H (9:30 am) Informed by Superintendent Tanseco that there were documents inside the residence/condominium of the Secretary.
1000 H (10:00 am) Led team to secure Secretary Robredo’s condominium unit; stayed in condominium lobby; instructed team to sign condominium log book to document our presence; left condominium after about 20 minutes.
1030 H (10:30 am) Arrived at Camp Crame and supervised sealing of Secretary Robredo’s office; left Camp Crame after about 15 minutes.
1130 H (11:30 am) Arrived at National Police Commission (Napolcom) building in Makati City; supervised sealing of Secretary Robredo’s office; left after about 20 minutes.
1500 H (3:30 pm) Accompanied Secretary of Justice and Presidential Security Group team that performed inspection, sealing
and securing of Secretary Robredo’s: a) DILG office; b) condomium unit; c) Camp Crame office; and d) Napolcom office.  Entire operations were completed at around 7:00 pm.


When the President asked me to serve in the DILG, he emphasized that we need to strengthen the institution so that our uniformed personnel will become truly servants and protectors of our people.  For the past two years, I have carried out specific assignments in accordance with the President’s mandate.

We have introduced reforms to ensure full transparency of procurement and bidding processes.  We have streamlined these processes to achieve the President’s objective of getting “the biggest bang for the buck” in providing basic equipment for enabling our uniformed personnel to perform their tasks effectively.

I believe that I have carried out my assigned duties to the best of my ability.

Moving forward, I have resigned as DILG Undersecretary to support the President’s decision to give a free hand to the incoming Secretary in forming a new team.

I wish to thank President Aquino for his trust and confidence in giving me the opportunity to serve our country and people.