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Palace downplays mass resignation of state-run coconut investment firm

MALACANANG on Friday downplayed the reported mass resignation of the officials of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund-Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG) to protest the appointment of Rehan Lao as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.

Citing a statement from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that the officials of the CIIF “voluntarily tendered their resignations.”

“The CIIF members voluntarily tendered their resignations. They are just there in holdover capacity,” Roque said, quoting Medialdea as saying.

CIIF-OMG chairman of the board Eddie Delima, CEO Benedicto Lor and 10 other officials have submitted their resignations to Medialdea to supposedly protest the appointment of Lao as CEO despite his alleged incompetence and questionable credentials.

Lao, according to reports, is the national president of Sulong ang Pag-Unlad Movement, which is said to be rallying behind Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s senatorial bid.

Documents released by Malacañang showed President Rodrigo Duterte on June 25 appointing Lao as member of the board of directors of CIIF-OMG for the San Pablo Manufacturing Corporation, Southern Luzon Coconut Oil Mill, Inc., and Legaspi Oil Company, Inc.

Lao was appointed to serve the unexpired term of former senator Wigberto Tañada in the agency that began on July 1, 2018 and will end on June 30, 2019.

Duterte also named Oscar Pialago Sr. as CIIF-OMG director for the Granexport Manufacturing Corporation, Cagayan de Oro Oil Company, Inc., and Iligan Coconut Industries, Inc. He replaced Lao and will serve until June 30, 2019.

In a radio interview, Medialdea said that it was up to Duterte who to appoint as president of the state-run firm.

He also said he was surprised by the resignation of the CIIF-OMG officials but added that their terms expired on June 30, 2017.

“As a matter of fact, there is no need for them to resign. We have all the right to change them. Wala hong nagsasabi sa amin na umalis kayo diyan,” Medialdea said during an interview with dzBB radio.

(We didn’t tell you to leave.)

“We have to put some members of the Board. Hindi naman pwedeng pabayaan po ‘yan, magiging pabaya naman kami kung hindi kami maglalagay ng mga tao diyan,” he added.

(We cannot let it go just like that. We will be remiss if we will not replace them.) CATHERINE VALENTE

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net


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