MANILA, Sept. 12, 2012—Catholic bishops expressed reservations Wednesday over President Benigno Aquino III’s reported plan to appoint resigned Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno to another post.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that instead of a new post, the government should pursue investigation against Puno amid accusations of corruption.
“PNoy should no longer give him another post,” Bastes said.
“I agree with Senator (Miriam) Santiago that he must still be investigated by the Senate for many alleged acts of corruption and shady deals and lack of transparency,” he said.
Bastes added that the President should prove his sincerity to fight corruption in the government by not sparing his “friend and shooting buddy.”
Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel also opposed appointing Puno to a new government post citing the “incompetence” of the latter.
For his part, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that Puno being given another post is an affirmation of Aquino’s “KKK” of kakampi, kaklase and kabarilan (party mates, classmates and shooting buddies).
“His competence and management skills have been all along disproven. If he will be given another assignment that’s another affirmation of the KKK,” he said.
“I don’t know what position they will give him but wherever they assign him he will not be that welcome precisely because it’s some kind of a second choice,” added Cruz.
Puno resigned from his post on Tuesday, three days before a Senate investigation on his alleged vast powers in the department.
Reports said he is set to be transferred to the Department of Agriculture but Malacañang already denied this. [CBCPNews]