The Daily Manila Shimbun


Sueno insists he is not corrupt

April 4, 2017

Interior and Local Government Secretary on Tuesday said he respects the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to remove him from his post but insists he is not corrupt. “I wholeheartedly accept the decision of the President.  It is his call if he wants me in his Cabinet or not.  But for the record, Mr. President, and I can say this with all honesty and sincerity, I am not corrupt,” said Sueno in a statement. He said Duterte must have been fed with  wrong information by those who were after his post. “I just wished the information was validated. If only the President asked DILG personnel from the central down to the regional and field offices, he would have known who amongst us are more credible and trustworthy,” Sueno said. He said he is ready to clear his name and face any investigation. “My conscience is clear.  I repeat, I have done nothing wrong.” Sueno said. Sueno said he is grateful for the opportunity to have served the DILG for almost ten months. “I believe that I did my best and I gave my whole heart to the job.  I am also fortunate to have been given a chance to work with a dedicated and passionate workforce in the DILG,” he said. One of the issues hurled against Sueno in the confidential letter sent by the MRRD-NECC (Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee) to Malacanang is the alleged anomalous payment of Rosenbauer firetrucks. Sueno said there was no way  he could have prevented the purchase of the firetrucks because it was a perfected contract entered into by the previous administration. “My role was to abide by the provision of the contract which says that I should ensure that the firetrucks to be delivered are in good condition so my team and I had to go to Austria to inspect them. If we did not do that, we cannot anymore complain if they delivered defective firetrucks to us,” he said. Sueno said the firetrucks are cheaper compared to locally-made firetrucks because these are under a soft loan agreement for 23 years with only minimal interest rates. “The Austrian firetrucks are new ones compared to the locally-made ones which are cheaper but are reconditioned and which are good only for a few years.  But then again, this is beside the point.  The contract is perfected and I only had to implement it,” he said. Sueno said while there is a pending petition preventing the implementation of the contract before the Supreme Court, there was no temporary restraining order, any injunctive relief or even a status quo ante order issued by the court suspending or holding the same in abeyance. DMS