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Duterte sacks OCD official for 'lack of trust and confidence'


President Rodrigo Duterte has removed from post an official of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for "lack of trust and confidence," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Roque identified the official as Assistant Secretary Kristoffer "Toby" Purisima. 

"Meron pong announcement na tinanggal po sa puwesto si Assistant Secretary Kristoffer 'Toby' Purisima for lack of trust and confidence," he said without elaborating on the exact reason for Purisima's removal from office.

Roque said as part of OCD, Purisima, who is the office's deputy administrator, is involved in the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ang OCD po siyempre nasa ilalim din yan ng DND (Department of National Defense). Yan po ay kabahagi ng response natin sa mga crisis. Yung opisina po niya ay at the forefront in providing assistance kung merong calamity. At meron rin pong papel yung opisina niya dito sa COVID-19 [issue] dahil kabahagi ito ng government response," he added.

Roque said Duterte has yet to pick a replacement for Purisima. 

The OCD has yet to comment on the reason why Purisima was removed from his post.

"We Presidential appointees always serve at the pleasure of the President," OCD Administrator Ric Jalad told GMA News Online when sought for comment.  —with Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News