Dureza resigns, takes full responsibility for corruption allegations at OPPAP

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DAVAO CITY (November 28) — 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 resignation letter  addressed to President Rodrigo  Duterte, Dureza said he is glad “but with some amount of sadness” about the President’s decision to terminate the two officials.

In a statement posted on his Facebook Page, Dureza stated:

I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY IN CORRUPTION AT OPAPP

November 27, 2018

Mr. President,

I am glad ( but with some amount of sadness ) with your announcement last Monday night terminating two ( 2) OPAPP high officials during the Monday meeting of the national Peace & Order Council due to corruption.

If you recall, I mentioned this problem to you at the sidelines of a cabinet meeting last Nov 6 and you told me that I should take this up with ES Bingbong, which I did. In the meantime, I tried to gather evidence to give basis to my planned move to terminate them if warranted.

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.

That was the reason why I again requested that I meet with you at an event at SMX in Davao several weeks ago but the agreed appointment did not take place due to your heavy schedule.

Again I requested Appointments’ Lysette to briefly meet with you recently at the Davao TOG XI last Nov 10 while you were on your way to another event but unfortunately while waiting at the agreed venue, I had to beg leave as I would miss my grand daughter’s birthday party that was being celebrated that day.

I am sad because despite my efforts to be compliant with your strong advocacy against corruption, I failed.

I had left the internal functions to my other OPAPP 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.

I truly am sad that OPAPP , as an institution which I head, had to suffer publicly due to the acts of a few.

Nonetheless, I take full responsibility and apologise for all this.

I am voluntarily tendering my resignation to pave the way for the needed reorganisation that Your Excellency may wish to undertake at OPAPP.

May I thank you for the rare privilege and opportunity of being the Presidential Peace Adviser under Your Excellency’s watch.

Very truly yours,

(SGD) Jesus G. Dureza

In another facebook post, Dureza stressed ”

“Although I have voluntarily relinquished my assigned task at OPAPP, I call on everyone to continue supporting our President. I will continue to do so in my private capacity. I believe in him and in his sincere intentions for our country. He cannot do this alone.”

Dureza was a high school classmate of President Rodrigo Duterte at the then Cor Jesu (Holy Cross) of Digos and a long time family friend.

Duterte spared Dureza from the corruption issue involving  Undersecretary Ronald Flores and Assistant Secretary Yeshtern Donn Baccay.

Flores is Undersecretary for Support Services and National Program Manager of PAMANA, the OPAPP’s development arm. Baccay is Assistant Secretary for Support Services and PAMANA Concerns.

Unconfirmed reports revealed, the two were  tagged in corruption allegations  in the implementation of Pamana projects which is undertaken by the OPPAP.

Duterte has accepted Dureza’s resignation.-Ezc/NewsLine 

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