Teo out, Romulo in

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines (May 8) — President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette  Fatima Romulo-Puyat , as the new Secretary of the Department of Tourism, replacing resigned Secretary Wanda Teo.

A highly placed Newsline.ph source confirmed, the President appointed Romulo-Puyat  late Tuesday afternoon.

Romulo-Puyat has been working with the Department of Agriculture  for over 12 years,  she  is  an undersecretary for administration, agribusiness and marketing, and regional engagement.

Teo tendered her resignation Monday night, following the P60-million advertisement scandal involving her department, the  state-run People’s
Television Network (PTV) and,  a media company owned by her brother, Ben Tulfo.

Duterte accepted her resignation Tuesday afternoon.

The advertisment of the Department of Tourism was placed in the program timeslot of “Bitag”, a segment produced by his brother Ben.

Teo’s spokesman and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio insisted early Tuesday that Duterte did not demand Teo’s resignation and also denied that she had

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In his speech during the ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace Tuesday afternoon,  Duterte asked the officers “Isa lang ang hinihingi ko sa inyo: that you help me. You are not — but help me stamp graft and corruption. That was  my main promise.”

He continued “And you know very well that I won the presidency not because of anybody. And that is why to our credit, pati kayo na, nobody
but nobody, no politician ever, ever calls me or intercedes for anybody in matters that are, I said, within your jurisdiction.”

The President stressed   “All that I want is that we serve the country and on our own merit,  we will do it according to what is the measure or the
standard of your performance in your duty.”

He did not mention names,  but Duterte said “Marami akong napaalis sa corruption. Meron bago. It has nothing to do at all with any other reason.
Basta I just don’t want to make publicity out of it. I’ll leave to everybody to decide.”

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“Pero ang masakit nito, most of those I have dismissed actually were the very same people that urged me to run in the first place. Sila ‘yung
pabalik-balik ng Davao, sila ‘yung sige udyok nang udyok. Ako naman dito sabi ko, “ayaw ko,” even to the last day, I did not come here to file
my certificate of candidacy because I did not want to run,” he emphasized.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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