Duterte says he is offended by DDB chief’s comment…and fired him

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Jose Cielito Reganit)

PRESIDENT RODRIGO said he was offended by Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Dionisio Santiago’s “incongruous” public comments on the construction of a mega drug rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija province and asked him to resign.

“Nagbitaw siya ng salita that it is a waste of money, that ‘it is not the right approach. So he came up with a very incongruous statement. I was offended. He could have asked me for an audience and then tell me all about it,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he appointed the former military general to the post in July to advise him on the problems and possible solutions to the drug problem, and not to air his misgivings in public. “Kaya kita inilagay diyan not to issue statements to the press. Nilagay kita diyan para magpunta ka sa akin kung ano ang problema sa bayan at turuan mo ako kung nagkulang ako, kung ano ang dapat kong gawin. But you do not go open to the press and start to blabber,” he said.

Santiago tendered his irrevocable resignation last week following a call from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea telling him that Duterte wanted him to resign. Santiago’s resignation came a week after he commented in a television interview that the construction of the 10,000-bed drug rehabilitation was impractical.

The center was built in partnership with philanthropists led by Chinese tycoon Huang Rulun.

Santiago, a former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said that funds for the project could be used instead in building community-based drug rehabilitation centers that are more accessible to drug dependents. He replaced then DDB chairman Benjamin Reyes, who was also fired by Duterte in May.

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